[Met Tour] CID:156720

Don Carlo
Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, Mon, April 16, 1951

In Italian

Don Carlo (27)
Giuseppe Verdi | François Joseph Méry/Camille du Locle list Italian text as translators?
Don Carlo
Richard Tucker

Elizabeth of Valois
Delia Rigal

Frank Valentino

Princess Eboli
Blanche Thebom

Philip II
Cesare Siepi

Grand Inquisitor
Jerome Hines

Celestial Voice
Lucine Amara

Luben Vichey

Anne Bollinger

Count of Lerma
Paul Franke

Countess of Aremberg
Tilda Morse

Emery Darcy

Fritz Stiedry

Review 1:

Review of Julian Seaman in the Cleveland Blade
Met Opens Cleveland Season With Amplified ‘Don Carlo’

Orchestra Reverberates, Singers Forced to Yell, Vocal honor Go To Cesare Siepi

The Metropolitan Opera Association beginning its 26th annual sojourn in the Public Auditorium here, presented Verdi’s “Don Carlo” in that vast and draughty arena last night. It was strictly an amplified version, with the weird result that often the audience heard in double.

This is the opera that opened the present Bing regime at the home stand. But on that brilliant occasion it enjoyed the indulgence of a fairly competent cast. The performance last night seemed to lack that sweet attribute, yet it achieved some distinction, despite spotty singing, a reverberate orchestra and generally shabby staging.

Honors Go To Siepi

Honors for this operatic evening, contrary to immemorial custom, rested not upon soprano, tenor nor baritone, but upon Cesare Siepi, an importation of Mr. Bing, whose portrayal of the cold and crafty Philip II, who handed his own son to the infamous Inquisition, could be ranked in splendor and vocal mastery with the great bassos of operatic legend.

The Don Carlo last night was Richard Tucker; Eboli, Blanche Thebom; Elizabeth, Delia Rigal; Rodrigo, Francesco Valentino, in place of the valiant Mr. Merrill; Jerome Hines, the Grand Inquisitor; the friar, Lubomir Vichegonov. Fritz Stiedry conducted by main strength.

All of the principals, with the exception of Mr. Siepi, yelled constantly. The second act trio attained a degree of discipline and vocal resonance, and Miss Thebom’s voice, inconsequential in this huge vacuum, did not quite disappear. Miss Rigal, a high soprano often of fragile quality, was almost inaudible.

Some Inconsistencies

There were some absurd inconsistencies in costumes and staging. The women were attired midway between fiesta at Cordoba (a la Zuloaga) and the coronation of the late queen. The peasantry could have been Italian out of Mascagni or Leoncavallo, or the backwash of “Carmen” and the sudden appearance of some shiny, new modern tubas among the royal musicians blowing in the auto-da-fe puzzled a large segment of the audience.

The score of “Don Carlo” is not considered Verdi’s worthiest effort. The opera, in any of its versions, has never met with unqualified favor, even though some superlative singers have been mustered to lend it life. Revivals at the Metropolitan, up to the present Bing gesture, have relied upon illustrious voices, conducting of a high order and the magnificent ballets designed by the late Rosina Galli. Mr. Bing has seen fit to remove each and every one of these attractions.

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