Peter G. Davis within the Occasions of London.
Maybe probably the most arresting and controversial efficiency to be seen on the Met to this point this season is Régine Crespin’s Carmen, a job she had beforehand recorded and sung in live performance however by no means earlier than onstage. Crespin’s Carmen is one among inexhaustible fascination and constant vocal attract. Few would deny the latter, for the soprano appears to have returned to finish vocal well being after a number of years of technical issues, and barely has Bizet’s music been extra seductively phrased or hauntingly coloured. And what a pleasure to listen to the French textual content, each sung and spoken, dealt with with such pure, straightforward authority!
Dramatically, this was not a Carmen for all tastes. Crespin is a big, strikingly good-looking girl, her stage method invariably sleek and subdued, but in moments of rigidity totally commanding. Better of all, Crespin has labored out a conception of the half that works for her in nearly each respect. For the primary act and a half this Carmen is nonchalant, vaguely amused by the affect she workouts over males however indifferent and blasé. When Don Jose hurls her to the ground simply earlier than singing his Flower Tune, the violent gesture appears to crystallize in Carmen the belief that her final freedom lies in demise and that Jose is the means to attain this aim. From that time till she nearly embraces her lover’s knife, Carmen is reworked right into a bitter, taunting, self-destructive girl as she goads Jose to homicide – and the moment of demise when she reaches out to caress José turns into a second of just about insufferable pathos. Solely the best artistry might carry off such an uncommon interpretation and Crespin holds one in thrall each instantaneous she is onstage.
On at the present time in 1944 the Aaron Copland/Martha Graham ballet Appalachian Spring had its premiere in Washington DC.
Birthday anniversaries of conductor Antonino Votto (1896) and soprano Käthe Heidersbach (1897).
Pleased 76th birthday countertenor and conductor René Jacobs.