[Met Performance] CID:132870

Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, February 4, 1942

Review 1:

Review of Robert Bagar in the World-Telegram

Met Has a Carmen and No Mistake

Lily Djanel Sings Role This Time for Smith Scholarship Fund

The second performance of "Carmen" this season was given at the Metropolitan last evening for the benefit of the Smith College Scholarship Fund. The floral motif was a powerful one, what with a Flower Song on the stage and a bevy of pretty girls selling flowers around the corridors and lobbies for the good of the cause.

The Met has acquired a Carmen, and no mistake. She is as Gallic a Spanish Gypsy as must have haunted Bizet's fondest dreams. That Carmen is Lily Djanel and last night she demonstrated for a second time humors high and low, kindly and mean, according to the specifications. This "gypsy baggage" is intense - mostly through understatement. There is economy of gesture to her portrayal. There is also the sign of doom in her come-on smiles.

No Scene-Stealer

She acts well, she is always in the picture, yet never interfered with the work of the others. "Let them have their moments in the spotlight," she seems to say. "I, Carmen, the influence, the threat, at once the symbol and victim of evil, call me what you will, but always in the spotlight, whether in or out of it."

Mme. Djanel, it happens, quite gratifyingly, also sings well. There is much subtlety in her delivery of the lines. There is tremendous poise, serenity, one might call it in her vocalism. She achieves a great deal by implication. A slight wobble is discernible in her voice, but after the first few moments you forget that. Besides all that she is good to look at and, what's more, svelte. The large audience enjoyed her performance.

Charles Kullman was a fine Done José, Licia Albanese a show-stopping Micaela and Leonard Warren a girthy and phlegmatic Toreador. Sir Thomas Beecham got some interesting colors and effects, but his conducting often dragged.

Search by season: 1941-42

Search by title: Carmen,

Met careers