[Met Performance] CID:152290

La Traviata
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, December 22, 1949

La Traviata (322)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Licia Albanese

Jan Peerce

Enzo Mascherini

Thelma Votipka

Alessio De Paolis

Baron Douphol
George Cehanovsky

Marquis D'Obigny
Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Grenvil
Osie Hawkins

Thelma Altman

Peggy Smithers

Marina Svetlova

Jonel Perlea

Désiré Defrère

Jonel Jorgulesco

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Boris Romanoff

La Traviata received eight performances this season.
Novak designed the set for Act II.

Review 1:

Arthur Berger in the Herald Tribune

“La Traviata”


Jonel Perlea Conducts Verdi Opera at the Metropolitan


Jonel Perlea’s beautifully controlled and live conducting of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Metropolitan Opera House last night was the news of the occasion.


Enzo Mascherini, who had not previously appeared with this company as the elder Germont, was a fairly familiar figure in the role through his appearances at the New York City Center, and Licia Albanese and Jan Peerce are old friends by now in the leading parts of Violetta and Alfredo. Mr. Mascherini was quite at home in the part, and there was good quality in his higher notes. He is undoubtedly a reliable addition to the roster, but one wonders whether the amount of expressivity was necessary to the lines of the relatively level-headed member of the trio of principals.


Miss Albanese, whose voice is basically a luscious and resonant one, forced her top tones and delivered her lower ones in a somewhat inaudible fashion. Visually, however, she made a lovely figure as the ill-fated heroine. Mr. Peerce sang with his usual musicianship, some niceties of phrasing and, in the higher range, his characteristic clarity.


But Mr. Perlea, the Romanian conductor, who made his debut early this month in a performance of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” was the one who evoked the greatest interest for this listener. The privilege of straddling the German and Italian repertoires is not granted many conductors at the Metropolitan. Mr. Perlea revealed the breadth of his musicianship by serving as something other than a time-beater who indulged the singers in every caprice to delay the continuity. He kept the opera moving at an animated pace, and he illuminated many fine details in Verdi’s accompaniment figures with his careful attention to detail. The sounds emanating from the pit were unlike what we are accustomed to hear in “La Traviata,” and it may be that the singers were not at their best because for them, too, the forthrightness injected a new element with which they were not quite prepared to cope.

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