Jay Harrison within the November 1963 concern of Musical America:
Issues acquired off to a sorry begin with a heavy-handed, draggy introduction that opened onto a split-level candy-box set which ought to have warned us all what the longer term held. Then, when Miss Moffo arrived, the reality was out: this was to be a pastel “Manon” with the tints all light. For checked out any manner, Miss Moffo has a voice whose mainly enticing coloration goes unvaried out and in of each scene and state of affairs. Within the first act, “Voyons, Manon, plus de chimères” was pale within the second, “Adieu, notre petite desk,” was pallid; and the third-act Gavotte, “Profitons bien de la jeunesse,” although a contact brighter in spirit, was nonetheless slightly drab. Neither was there any enchancment within the following two acts. The fundamental stuff of Miss Moffo’s voice is enticing, however hardly ever is something completed to make her soprano luminous, iridescent, or diversified of nuance. Her Manon, briefly, was plain and bizarre. There was neither sparkle to it nor sensuousness, which made one ponder whether she was Manon in any respect.
Mr. Gedda, as nicely, was nowhere close to the highest of his type. Other than an interesting “Ah, fuyez,” he appeared slightly intimidated by the entire opera and even appeared uninterested when full involvement was essential. His enunciation, nevertheless, was exemplary – not a phrase was muffled or thrown away. However even his “Rêve” aria, sung on the applicable pianissimo, lacked vocal distinction. It was lackluster, uninteresting, even boring. His rendition offered a shadow of the Gedda we’ve got come to know and admire. . . .
“Manon” bleeds when France forsakes it, and the brand new rendition appears little involved with the magnificence of French custom. This extends to the course, which is painfully typical, and the units and costumes, that are simply painful. Other than the Cours la Reine scene-with a balloon or two to offer it lift-there is nothing seen on stage that any third-rate lyric theater couldn’t present. Viewing Act II is an expertise that instructed to me that the furnishings van had been misplaced in transit-the set is each bit that hare; and Act III appears made from cardboard from a laundered shirt.
However worst of all was that there was nothing tempting or yielding about the complete spectacle. It was all robust and splintery, and that’s not what “Manon” is all about.
On this present day in 1991 soprano Deborah Voigt made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Amelia.
Birthday anniversaries of tenor Dinu Badescu (1904), playwright Arthur Miller (1915) and baritone Rolando Panerai (1924).
Born on this present day in 1925 Dame Angela Lansbury.
Comfortable birthday to mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton!