[Met Performance] CID:121150

Madama Butterfly
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, March 18, 1937

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

Susanne Fisher Heard Again as Cio-Cio-San

Takes Metropolitan Role for Franca Somigli, Who Is Ill

Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" was repeated at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday evening when, according to the originally announced line-up, Franca Somigli was to have sung the title role. But she had caught cold, and the Cio-Cio-San who committed suicide for the last time but one this season was Susanne Fisher, who had made her Metropolitan debut in the same part fifteen months ago. Charles Kullman, as Pinkerton; George Cehanovsky, as Sharpless, and Irra Petina as Suzuki, were the other principals.

Miss Fisher's interpretation as Pinkerton's too trusting Japanese bride has gained vocally and dramatically since last winter, the voice proved stronger and commanded more pronounced color, and her impersonation showed a closer identification with the character and ability to convey its emotions convincingly to the audience, and the close was dealt with effectively but without overacting. The middle register usually had a notably warm quality; some top notes in the first act were incompletely focused, but on the whole they had a firmness and carrying power marking the West Virginia singer's best work here thus far.

Mr. Kullman's Pinkerton was well characterized in appearance and dramatic treatment, and, while his top notes have not yet developed an Italianate luxuriance, the tonal volume in general proved very satisfactory and the prevailing vocal color and timbre appealing. Mr. Cehanovsky sang commendably as Sharpless, while Lucielle Browning and Messrs. Paltrinieri, Engelman and Cordon sang the other roles under Mr. Panizza's direction in a much-applauded performance.

"Aida" will be heard for the last time this season this afternoon when more than three-quarters of the audience will consist of school children from greater New York, Westchester County and New Jersey attending under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

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