[Met Tour] CID:133660

Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, Tue, April 21, 1942

Review 1:

Review of Frank Daniel in the Atlanta Journal

"Carmen" Presented Here With Grace and Power

Military in Evidence at Daylight Premiere

Wartime Atlanta turned aside from 1942's more serious activities to participate Tuesday evening in an annual event which, since the Metropolitan Opera Association's first visit in 1910, has become a tradition in civic life.

If "Carmen," the first of the three operas the Metropolitan is presenting on its twenty-third visit to Atlanta, was as brilliant as any premiere of recent years, it also had its particular aspects. The advanced time saw the audience in its seats in daylight, and military uniforms substituted for the more elaborate outfits of other times.

In one respect, certainly, the performance of "Carmen" Tuesday evening represented a memorable occasion in Atlanta's operatic history, for Sir Thomas Beecham, who was the guest conductor of the occasion, infused the performance with extraordinary grace and power.

His presence was comparable with another great occasion, during Atlanta's first opera season after the outbreak of the World War. That was when Toscanini conducted "Carmen" in Atlanta and Geraldine Farrar sang the title role.

Picturesque Star

Lily Djanel, the Metropolitan's new Carmen, whose presence has revived an interest in Bizet's always compelling masterpiece, demonstrated impressively her unusual fitness for the role. She was a singer of great resourcefulness, highly picturesque and an energetic and persuasive actress.

Charles Kullman as Don José gave the infatuated hero a handsome presence and sang with dramatic and musical skill. Richard Bonelli was a swaggering and colorful Escamillo, and Licia Albanese, as Micaela, provided some of the most vocally satisfying moments of the evening. Her singing of Micaela's third act aria gave this sometimes deflating occasion an unusually impressive beauty.

The other members of the cast were consistently able. Thelma Votipka and Helen Olheim infused the roles of Frasquita and Mercedes with brilliant music, and the always capable George Cehanovsky gave his usual expert performance as Dancaire.

Norman Cordon, a stalwart in Metropolitan casts and already familiar to Atlanta audiences, won favor, and Alessio de Paolis and Wilfred Engelman contributed their share to the occasion.

The Metropolitan corps de ballet assumed its considerable share of the entertainment proficiently.

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