[Met Performance] CID:134790

Il Trovatore
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, February 5, 1943

Il Trovatore (214)
Giuseppe Verdi | Salvatore Cammarano
Giovanni Martinelli

Zinka Milanov

Count Di Luna
Leonard Warren

Anna Kaskas

Nicola Moscona

Maxine Stellman

Lodovico Oliviero

Walter Cassel

Cesare Sodero

Herbert Graf

Set Designer
Harry Horner

Costume Designer
Mary Percy Schenck

Il Trovatore received six performances this season.

Review 1:

Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune
“Il Trovatore” Is Performed With Martinelli
Mmes. Milanov and Kaskas in Metropolitan’s Cast; Cesare Sodero Conducts

For this listener the most impressive aspect of the presentation of "Il Trovatore" was Mr. Sodero's conducting. It was due largely to his full-blooded, justly paced and vigilant traversal of the score that some of Verdi's intentions were conveyed. From the vocal angle things were considerably less heartening. There was no want of good will on the part of the singers concerned, but previous little in the way of first-rate accomplishment.

It would be unkind to dwell too long or in too detailed fashion on Mr. Martinelli's present limitations for so arduous a role as Manrico. The tenor with this performance began his thirtieth year in this opera house, and has announced his intention to retire at its close. He is still an artist whom one can admire for his finely cultivated sense of style and for his utter sincerity of purpose. He could not have been more tumultuously acclaimed had it been his debut with all of his tonal resources at his command than he was by last night's audience.

Mme. Milanov, after having given indications in her last two appearances of more judicious use of her voice, unfortunately failed to continue in the paths of vocal virtue. With the exception of scattered, agreeably delivered phrases, her singing was unfocused, often sharp in intonation, and consequently devoid of expressiveness.

Miss Kaskas, substituting for the indisposed Mme. Castagna, brought genuine intensity to her delineation of the half-mad Azucena, but her voice is not of the caliber of which distinguished Azucenas are made. Her low tones were hollow, and while the upper part of her voice had sufficient volume, she resorted too often to the glottis stroke to win the approval of discriminating auditors.

The Count di Luna of Mr. Warren was disappointing, not because he has not the right kind of a voice for the part, but because he made such inexpert use of his superb native material. Here is a tremendous, rich-textured voice projected mouthily and in soft passages so breathily that its native beauty is clouded. It is really most regrettable that this young barytone cannot acquire better control of his remarkable expressive medium. It was left for Mr. Moscona in the relatively small role of Ferrando to reveal some of the qualities of a well-trained singer. His tones at least pursued a vocal line.

Mr. Graf's direction of the stage procedure was not without dubious innovation – for instance, the seizure of di Luna by Manrico’s constituents at the close of the second scene of the second act without any attempt at intervention on the part of the Count’s armed adherents.

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