[Met Performance] CID:152140

La Bohème
Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, December 7, 1949

Debut : Enzo Mascherini

La Bohème (434)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/Giuseppe Giacosa
Bidú Sayão

Ferruccio Tagliavini

Lois Hunt

Enzo Mascherini [Debut]

Hugh Thompson

Nicola Moscona

Melchiorre Luise

Paul Franke

John Baker

Giuseppe Antonicelli

Désiré Defrère

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Costume Designer
Blaschke & Cie

La Bohème received twelve performances this season.
J. Novak designed the set only for Acts I and IV.

Review 1:

A. B. in the Herald Tribune

Season’s First “Bohème”


The season’s first performance of Puccini’s “La Bohème” at the Metropolitan Opera House last night was the occasion for a notable debut with the company by Enzo Mascherini. Mr. Mascherini has been a familiar figure here as Marcello, having sung the role several times with the New York City Opera Company. The new condition last night was the larger auditorium his tones had to fill and he had no difficulty at all making his rich, ample voice audible. His portrayal of the role is a thoroughly amiable one, and he was completely at home in the animated company of his three comrades, whose roles were sung by Ferruccio Tagliavini, Hugh Thompson and Nicola Moscona.


Though Marcello is on the stage much of the time, as chief confidant of the hero, Rodolfo, his role is a rather episodic one. It would be good to hear him in a more sustained part at the Metropolitan since it was obvious from last night’s performance that he could easily distinguish himself in one.


Lois Hunt, who made her debut on the [first] night [of the season] in a minor role in “Rosenkavalier,” sang her first Musetta. This winner of the 1949 Auditions of Metropolitan seemed rather inexperienced for the role, and handled it, visually and vocally, a bit like a musical comedy impersonation. Her high tones were explosive and in general there was not much style.


The other members of the cast are well enough known in their roles to need no further comment at this time. Mr. Tagliavini sang with his usual volume and his authority in matters of Italian style, but forced his tones somewhat. Bidu Sayao as Mimi did her best during the latter part of the evening.

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