[Met Performance] CID:152480

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, January 9, 1950

Review 1:

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America
Victoria de los Angeles’ singing of Manon is something that no one should miss. Her impersonation lacked the dramatic verve of Lucrezia Bori’s Manon, but it had the same musical beauty of color and line, and the same virtuosic ease. Miss De los Angeles obviously understands the contradictory elements of Manon’s character, and she was better in the part, dramatically speaking, than in any other she has thus far essayed at the Metropolitan.

Giuseppe di Stefano just as obviously did not understand the character of Des Grieux, but his voice sounded disarmingly warm and vital during much of the performance. Nothing could be said in defense of the style of his performance yet there was real excitement in his singing, not merely in the loud passages, but in the diaphanous pianissimos that he was able to spin out.

Martial Singher was again heard as Lescaut; Jerome Hines as the Count des Grieux; Paula Lenchner, Margaret Roggero and Herta Glaz as Pousette, Javotte and Rosette; Alessio de Paolis as Guillot; George Cehanovsky as De Brétigny; Lawrence Davidson as the Inkeeper; Paul Franke and Algerd Brazis as Two Guards; and May Savage as a Servant. Fausto Cleva conducted the score in a style rather closer to Puccini than to Massenet, but he achieved an impassioned performance that had its virtues in spite of its vehemence and headlong pace.

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