[Met Performance] CID:149480

Lucia di Lammermoor
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, January 14, 1949 Matinee

Lucia di Lammermoor (236)
Gaetano Donizetti | Salvadore Cammarano
Carmen Gracia

Richard Tucker

Frank Valentino

Jerome Hines

Anthony Marlowe

Inge Manski

Paul Franke

Pietro Cimara

Review 1:

Review of Cecil Smith in Musical America

The first of six student performances, sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, gave senior high school students from New York City and various suburbs an opportunity to hear Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." This same opera will be repeated on other Friday afternoons later in the season for two more audiences of young people. Puccini's "La Bohème" will be presented on the other three occasions.

Both Carmen Gracia, as Lucia, and Richard Tucker, as Edgardo, sang their roles for the first time at the Metropolitan. Miss Gracia's work, in both its vocal and its dramatic aspects, showed a phenomenal advance over her Rosina and Gilda, the two parts in which she had previously been heard since her premature debut a year ago. It is true that the young soprano still needs a great deal more training in the studio, in order to gain the stamina and stability which will enable her to sustain an entire performance, or even an entire aria, without serious mishap. But in its best phase, which was evident a large part of the time, she sang the music with steady line, accurate pitch even in rapid and staccato passages, and attractive color and phrasing. Moreover, she manifested a real feeling for dramatic characterization, and maintained her aplomb even when she slipped dangerously as she came down the long flight of stairs in the mad scene. Since her improvement appears to be swift, there is now good reason to expect that Miss Gracia will ultimately become a genuine adornment to the company.

Mr. Tucker's singing was best in the first of the two arias which make up the final "scena." Here his delivery attained a melancholy, elegiac mood that was well suited to the situation. He also acquitted himself well in his share of the sextet, but in the denunciatory measures that immediately follow it, he lost count and failed to make the proper climax. With another chance or two to let the part settle, however, he will become one of the best Edgardos in the company, for the weight and texture of his voice, the manner in which he uses it, and the approach to the music his particular temperament dictates all equip him excellently for the part.

The others in the cast, all of whom had sung their parts earlier this season, were Francesco Valentino, Jerome Hines, Inge Manski, Paul Franke, and Anthony Marlowe, with Pietro Cimara conducting.

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