[Met Performance] CID:140090

Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, December 5, 1945

Tosca (270)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/Giuseppe Giacosa
Grace Moore

Jussi Björling

Lawrence Tibbett

Salvatore Baccaloni

Alessio De Paolis

Lorenzo Alvary

George Cehanovsky

Mona Paulee

John Baker

Cesare Sodero

Lothar Wallerstein

Set Designer
Mario Sala

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Tosca received six performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Mark A Schubart in The New York Times

'Tosca at Metropolitan'

The first "Tosca" 'of the season was, on the whole, a good one. It reflected credit on the Metropolitan's ability to put on a dramatic show, which is as it should be. For "Tosca" is first and foremost a melodrama. Its music is the vehicle for abrupt and ever-changing passions and the bel canto of earlier Italian styles of operatic writing is left far behind. It has only a few brief moments of sustained song and most of these are much too turbulent to be classified as arias. The rest of the vocal writing is made up largely of short outbursts of musical speech, with most of the dominating melodies assigned to the orchestra. Under these circumstances, it is obvious that a dramatic performance of "Tosca" can survive a great deal of vocal incompetence and that the reverse is less likely to be so.

Not that last night's performance was totally lacking in vocal skill. Miss Moore achieved one of her better performances of recent years. Her voice sounded strong and full and was heard clearly through Puccini's orchestral outbursts. The "Vissi d'arte," of course, brought her the biggest ovation of the evening and deservedly so.

Mr. Bjoerling's Cavadarossi -- his first at the Metropolitan - was something of a disappointment. Though his voice was used tastefully, as always, it appeared to be too small and he seemed to have to force it many times during the evening. The "Recondita armonia" was among his more successful efforts. Mr. Tibbett, too, seemed to have difficulty making himself heard, though he made as imposing and villainous a Scarpia as one could wish for.

Among the minor roles, Mr. Baccaloni delighted the audience (and this reviewer) with his droll version of the sacristan, while Mr. Alvary was a properly harassed Angelotti. Mr. Sodero's direction was energetic and secure and credit for the excellent synchronization between score and stage business belongs to him.

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