[Met Performance] CID:149040

Il Trovatore
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, December 3, 1948

Il Trovatore (241)
Giuseppe Verdi | Salvatore Cammarano
Jussi Björling

Stella Roman

Count Di Luna
Frank Valentino

Cloe Elmo

Jerome Hines

Inge Manski

Anthony Marlowe

Lawrence Davidson

Emil Cooper

Herbert Graf

Set Designer
Harry Horner

Costume Designer
Mary Percy Schenck

Il Trovatore received seven performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

"Il Trovatore"

Verdi's Opera is Performed at Metropolitan

The season's first presentation of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" at the Metropolitan Opera House last night was, during the three acts this reviewer was able to hear, only fitfully rewarding. The demand for vocal virtuosity made by the composer throughout this opera was seldom met satisfactorily by the singers. Only Mr. Bjoerling brought to the role of Manrico anything like the blend of lyricism and bravura style required for a telling conveyance of Verdi's exacting music. Especially persuasive was the tenor's delivery of his first third act aria, "Ah, si ben mio," which was stylistically without blemish and a balm to ears which until then had heard little enrapturing or even acceptable in the way of vocalism. The ensuing "Di quell a pira" too was accounted for, for the most part effectively, topped by a ringingly resonant high "C" which, unfortunately, when repeated at the conclusion of the act was sharpened to a "C-sharp" which lent an unexpectedly modern touch to Verdi's conventional harmonic scheme.

As Leonora, Miss Roman sang much as she has in past seasons. Her idiosyncrasies of vocal production remain regrettably unaltered and the potentialities of her fine voice were realized in a phrase here and there which emerged caressingly only to be juxtaposed with whole pages which were completely without vocal direction, haphazardly projected and vague in intonation.

Miss Elmo again brought to her portrayal of Azucena the fiery temperament and dramatic cogency which won her so many admirers at her debut in this role last season. But her singing last night, while often expressive in the middle range at low dynamic levels, was otherwise often harsh sounding and more than a tolerable number of her top tones were off pitch.

Mr. Valentino gave a stylistically assured account of the music of the Count di Luna, including his aria, "Il balen." But his baritone voice is so wanting in sensuousness and its production is so throaty that little pleasure is to be derived from his work, well routined and sincere though it is. Mr. Hines assumed the role of Ferrando for the first time and sang its rather ungrateful music well. Mr. Copper conducted a for the most part lively paced performance.

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