Overshadowing all the things else on the Metropolitan final night-the social éclat, the excited hubbub, the ermine brigade, even Verdi’s “Forza Del Destino”-was the fantastic thing about the singing.
The Metropolitan Opera Home is likely to be mentioned to have opened its 68th season and its third beneath the administration of Rudolf Bing with a tune in its coronary heart. If final evening was any take a look at, there are magnificent issues forward for individuals who have lengthy been mourning the passing of the nice days of Italian singing.
Mr. Bing is to be applauded for launching the brand new season with ‘La Forza.” The truth that the opera was first produced precisely 90 years in the past to the evening made it an irresistible selection. Extra vital is that it’s nonetheless considered one of Verdi’s most unjustly uncared for kids. How well timed the revival was could possibly be seen and heard within the conduct of the group.
I’ve hardly ever seen a Metropolitan viewers so absorbed and concentrated at a gap. There have been those that floated foggily alongside the corridors whereas the music was on and some unfortunates who returned too late to their seats to catch the prize tune of the night–Leonora’s well-known “Tempo, Tempo.”
By and enormous, nonetheless, the viewers gulped down each word and Verdi, as I suppose everyone is aware of, is a reasonably good supplier that method. “La Forza” pretty drips with heat melody. There are arias and duets and trios price their weight in molten gold, and if anyone ever wrote a larger aria than the “Tempo, Tempo,” I’ll eat the entire opera rating it comes from.
That aria, by the way, introduced the loudest and most sustained ovation of the night. And no surprise! It was sung by Zinka Milanov-the new Zinka Milanov who spins out tone as if it had been a pure perform and who caresses a phrase with the tender solicitude
I couldn’t resist “bravoing” at that time myself, although I do know a critic’s enthusiasm is meant to be confined to his typewriter. Mme. Milanov’s rendering of the aria was the very best since Muzio and Ponselle. Amongst different issues, hers is probably the most shifting pianissimo of our time.
If Mme. Milanov’s singing was symbolic of Mr. Bing’s new outlook, so was the singing of Richard Tucker as Don Alvaro and Leonard Warren as Don Carlos. These two Spaniards, sworn enemies, have the opera just about to themselves, that’s when Leonora isn’t round. When she isn’t “La Forza” is one lengthy indignant male duet.
Mr. Tucker has been known as the Brooklyn Caruso. Figuring out the generosity of lamented Enrico, I’m sure he would have been proud to be known as the Italian Tucker, had destiny made them contemporaries. That’s how good Tucker sounded final evening. In a single scene the place he was flat on his again, tone poured up from him like a sunlit geyser.
If Mr. Warren goes on singing the way in which he did final evening, I shall have to revive him to first place in my very own non-public e book of baritones. And as for Cesare Siepi, his splendid basso by no means sounded so broad and spacious because it did within the stately traces of Padre Guardiano. Mildred Miller was pert and spirited in Preziosilla’s innocent “Rataplan,” and the refrain backed all of them up with volumes of contemporary and vibrant tone. Everyone’s thanks go to Fritz Stiedry for a sound job of conducting.
I preferred Herbert Graf’s staging of the opera-the vivid battle scenes, the monastic solemnities, the brooding desolateness of the finale, and I didn’t thoughts discovering “La. Forza” within the seventeenth century as a substitute of the 18th. It’s the sort of sprawling, globe-trotting opera that could possibly be put within the age of Charlemagne with out offending anybody however the pedants. Spaniards go to Italy to battle Germans. The possibilities are historical past is much more silly than an opera libretto.
A lot has been written about Fritz Stiedry’s cuts and restorations. I had no objection to any of them. He saved within the stunning “Solenne in Quest’ora” and the much more stunning “Tempo, Tempo.” Had he left both of them out, I might be picketing the Metropolitan as we speak.
On at the present time in 1994 Shostakovich’s Woman Macbeth of Mtsensk lastly bowed on the Met. Maria Ewing was Katerina.
On at the present time in 1969 Sesame Avenue made its broadcast debut.
Birthday anniversaries: Born on at the present time in 1668 composers Francois Couperin (1668)and Henri Rabaud (1873); dramatist and poet Friedrich von Schiller (1759); singer Jane Froman (1907); composer Ennio Morricone and composer and lyricist Marilyn Bergman (each 1928).
Pleased 81st birthday tenor Graham Clark.