[Met Performance] CID:159450

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, March 31, 1952

Review 1:

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America

The season's final performance of "Aida" was stirringly dramatic and well sung. Robert Merrill, making his first appearance as Amonasro in the new production, presented an imposing figure and built the struggle with Aida in the Nile scene to an exciting climax. Equally free from routine was the sensitive singing of Delia Rigal as Aida. Miss Rigal did not command much of the savage intensity of feeling and pride that Verdi put into the role, but she made its pathos tell, and she sang with aristocratic beauty of phrase. Fedora Barbieri's Amneris was best in the fourth act, in which she sang and acted with tragic grandeur and quite rightly brought down the house at the end of the judgment scene. Not often is the despair?the princess so boldly, almost brutally, limned. Mario del Monaco, as Radames, sang with great brio and with considerably more taste and consideration for his fellow artists than he had at the performances I heard earlier this season. The others in the excellent cast were Lubomir Vichegonov as the King, Cesare Siepi as Ramfis, Paul Franke as the Messenger, and Margaret Roggero as the Priestess. Fausto Cleva hurried a few tempos but conducted a wonderfully vigorous and well-balanced performance.

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