[Met Performance] CID:158100

La Traviata
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, November 24, 1951

Debut : Giacinto Prandelli, Renato Capecchi, Maria Karnilova, Socrates Birsky

La Traviata (348)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Delia Rigal

Giacinto Prandelli [Debut]

Renato Capecchi [Debut]

Paula Lenchner

Gabor Carelli

Baron Douphol
George Cehanovsky

Marquis D'Obigny
Algerd Brazis

Dr. Grenvil
Osie Hawkins

Margaret Roggero

Tilda Morse

Maria Karnilova [Debut]

Socrates Birsky [Debut]

Fausto Cleva

Désiré Defrère

Jonel Jorgulesco

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Zachary Solov

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

Review 1:

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times


Prandelli and Capecchi Make Debut as Metropolitan in Seasonal Bow of Work

Verdi's "La Traviata'' received its first performance of the season Saturday night at the Metropolitan. The popular work served as the vehicle for the debut of two Italian artists, Giacinto Prandelli, tenor, who was the Alfredo, and Renato Capecchi, baritone, the elder Germont of the cast.

Mr. Prandelli, who made his first appearance in opera ten years ago in his native land and has since been active in many leading lyric theatres abroad, made a definitely favorable impression in the role assigned him for this initial American hearing. He possessed the youthful looks, the aristocratic bearing, which the romantic hero of the work should have, but seldom does. His characterization and his singing proved equally refined, sensitive and sincere while his approach was likeably direct and unassuming.

Tones Well Produced

The singer used his well produced, pleasing tones with genuine. musicality. He knew how to

shape a phrase and mold a melodic line with grace and finesse. He knew, too, how to hoard his vocal resources, so that he could make the climactic measures of his third act outburst, "Ogni suo aver," ring forth with true dramatic force, in fine contrast to the more lyric episodes of the part.

He never forced his tones when employed at the full, and the attention he paid to dynamic gradations was praiseworthy and carefully in agreement with Verdi's every indication. In other words, here was a real artist.

Mr. Capecchi, who has had a busy time since he launched his career three years ago, made known a somewhat more powerful personality than his fellow debutant of the evening. But he was less thoroughly adept in his portrayal and vocalism. Possibly Giorgio Germont is not a role that shows up the young singer's accomplishments to best advantage.

Tenorish Quality Heard

For though his voice was fundamentally a good one, it often sounded mouthy and not sufficiently "forward." Yet in the upper register, where the tones took on a tenorish quality, they were of a decidedly commendable nature. There was not much mood in the singing, even in the "Di Provenza il mar." Mr. Capecchi, nevertheless, did his most finished work in that favorite aria, with its excellently delivered top notes.

Of Miss Rigal's overacted and inadequately sung Violetta, one can but express disappointment. Because her voice constantly changed in production and in control, results were extremely uneven, being most acceptable in the final ensemble of the third act.

In the production as a whole, with Mr. Cleva leading the work for the first time here, not much semblance of reality accrued, due to want of emotional warmth on stage. The minor roles, however, were all in capable hands, and the ballet dances in the third act with choreography by Zachary Solov had imagination and spirit.

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