[Met Performance] CID:155530

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, December 30, 1950

Il Barbiere di Siviglia (230)
Gioachino Rossini | Cesare Sterbini
Paolo Silveri

Lily Pons

Count Almaviva
Giuseppe Di Stefano

Dr. Bartolo
Gerhard Pechner

Don Basilio
Cesare Siepi

Jean Madeira

George Cehanovsky

Paul Franke

Ludwig Burgstaller

Alberto Erede

Review 1:

Ronald Eyer in Musical America

The distinguishing element of the fourth performance of Rossini’s comic opera was the presence for the first time at the Metropolitan of Paolo Silveri in the title role. The new Italian baritone, obviously very much at home in the part, made a jaunty, assured Figaro. The voice sounded impressively big, if a bit dry, and he sang generally with a basic regard for the style. Sometimes, however, he adopted either a careless or cavalier attitude toward the music, slurring runs, rushing fast tempos or just mouthing passages inaudibly for laughs – scarcely a legitimate comedy style in opera. Mr. Silveri entered wholeheartedly into the harum-scarum doings of the production, contributing many of his own bits of business, such as shaving the sergeant during the second-act finale. Some of his actions were distractions during the arias of other singers, notably those of Lily Pons, the Rosina, and verged on bad taste. Miss Pons maintained an admirable poise and sang charmingly amid the farcical antics that seem to grow wilder each time the opera is given at the Metropolitan – even to the point of ad libbing. Others in the cast were Jean Madeira, Giuseppe di Stefano, George Cehanovsky, Cesare Siepi, Gerhard Pechner, Paul Franke and Ludwig Burgstaller. Alberto Erede conducted.

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