On this present day in 1965 mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Eboli.
Irving Kolodin within the Saturday Evaluation:
Bumbry’s efficiency, in her debut, was a provocative a part of the end result, if neither as necessary or as particular as the eye lavished on her by at the least part of the viewers. Along with a spacious voice, which accommodated itself comfortably to each extremes of the function (and to the scale of the theater as nicely), she has the much more necessary reward of temperament. He Eboli is infused with individuality from the beginning, which is partially an outgrowth of the style through which she conceives the character’s place within the drama, but additionally, one suspects, one thing inside her that she can not very nicely maintain out of no matter she does. She sang the “Veil Track” fantastically with a lightweight coloration not simple for mezzos to return by, however she additionally had the total vary of stops to make “O don fatale” an expertise in musical drama slightly than merely an train in vocal agility. Like most of her sister mezzos, she tends to bear down a little bit closely on the darkish “chest” tones, however her assurance, self-possession, and character projection are the sort from which a considerable profession could be made.
Blissful birthday to parterre field scribe Henson Keys.