[Met Tour] CID:153810

La Traviata
Civic Opera House, Chicago, Illinois, Wed, May 10, 1950

La Traviata (329)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Licia Albanese

Giuseppe Di Stefano

Leonard Warren

Inge Manski

Paul Franke

Baron Douphol
George Cehanovsky

Marquis D'Obigny
Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Grenvil
Osie Hawkins

Thelma Altman

Peggy Smithers

Marina Svetlova

Jonel Perlea

Review 1:

Felix Borowski in the Chicago Sun-Times

“La Traviata” Wins Many ‘Bravos’


At the Opera House Wednesday evening the Metropolitan Company presented Verdi’s “La Traviata,” in what, so far was the most enthusiastic audience of the season. So appreciative, indeed, was the house that no artist was left without ecstatic handclapping and cries of “Bravo,” and, at the fall of each curtain principals, either in groups or singly, followed each other in constant journeys across the proscenium to acknowledge their ovations.


There are only three characters of importance in “La Traviata,” and of these Violets perhaps is the most conspicuous. On this occasion she was interpreted by Lycia Albanese, who frequently has been heard in the work before. It did not seem, however, -- at least in the [first] act  — that she was as comfortable in the role as at other times. The “Fors e lui” and “Sempra libera” were sung for the most part fortissimo throughout, and scarcely with her customary confidence and grace. Nor was the bravura of “Sempre

 libera” always as clear, scintillant or as effortless as it should have been.


The second act, however, brought back to Miss Albanese much of the beauty of vocal texture which always has been one of her outstanding assets. Her singing there, and certainly her characterization in general – its poignancy, emotional directness, even its subtlety – evoked only admiration.


Leonard Warren long has been a familiar figure as the elder Germont, and he has played and sung the part with unfailing distinction. He was once again in evidence Wednesday night. His interview with Violetta in the garden of the latter’s villa was extraordinarily appealing, and that with his son which followed, not less so. Seldom has “Di Proven il mar” been delivered with greater beauty of tone or with more sympathetic emotion.


Giuseppe di Stefano’s delivery of Alfredo scarcely belonged to the bright moments of first class opera. His singing of the “Libiamo” of the [first] act was promising enough, but no one hearing Alfredo’s robust declamation at the beginning of the garden scene would have gathered that he was soliloquizing on Violetta’s “tender sway.” Mr. di Stefano’s method of scooping into his notes also became disturbing as the opera progressed. “La Traviata” calls for a tenor of exquisite vocal ability, which this Alfredo has yet to achieve.


The ballet, which had  been excellent in “Carmen,” was not more than ordinarily effective in the third act of “La Traviata.” The orchestra was conducted by Jonel Perlea, and both were successful in reflecting the color and beauty of Verdi’s score.

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