[Met Performance] CID:165380

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, April 1, 1954

Aida (574)
Giuseppe Verdi | Antonio Ghislanzoni
Herva Nelli

Gino Penno

Nell Rankin

George London

Norman Scott

Luben Vichey

Paul Franke

Margaret Roggero

Janet Collins

Kurt Adler

Review 1:

Tracy Sylvester in the Oklahoma City Times
Met Puts Best Foot Forward
Robert Peters Steals Show in ‘Superb’ Dallas Opera

Dallas. Texas, May 10 – “The Marriage of Figaro,” Mozart’s greatest comic opera, was presented by the Metropolitan Opera Company in Dallas Sunday night.

As the third of the operas to be presented in the Texas city, it turned out to be one of the finest presentations of a Mozart work this reviewer has ever seen. From any vantage point, it was a superb presentation with many great moments of operatic tour de force.

Roberta Peters, who will sing the role of Gilda in the Met’s presentation of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, all but stole the show in her madcap performance of the saucy maid Susanna.

“Second Fiddle” Stars>

The young coloratura portrayed the part with rare abandon, while keeping her lilting voice in perfect rapport.

Miss Peters has assumed a major part in the future of the Metropolitan, and in recent years has firmly established herself as one of the outstanding performers in the soprano lists. Her voice was full, flexible and beautiful in the melodic lines of Mozart.

Victoria de los Angeles played second fiddle to Miss Peters until the third act of the opera. Then she took over the prima role and sang some of most thrilling tones we have heard from a Metropolitan soprano.

Duet is High Point

Her voice had tremendous scope and thrilling resonance throughout. Her perfect tonality was a joy to hear and in the later duet with Miss Peters, the highpoint of the opera was reached. Seldom has it been out lot to hear two such perfect voices singing in perfect blend as in the third act duet.

In the role of the infectious Figaro, the town factotum, generally flunky and know-it-all, Cesare Siepi handled the lead male role in the excellent manner that has become associated with his bass-baritone voice.

He is the top bass on the Metropolitan roster and he was in rare form in Sunday night’s performance. His stage deportment has improved immeasurably in the last few years, and he handles the mantle of Pinza with the assurance of a veteran. He is handsome to look upon and a joy to hear.

Comic Role Hailed

Margaret Roggero, as the Cherubino of the piece, handled the role well and with the necessary comic overtones. Her vocalizing of “Voi che sapete” was one of the highpoints of the second act. Her conic antics in the role of a man dressed as a girl kept the audience in big good humor.

Frank Guarrera in the role of the hapless Count Almaviva was not up to the cast from a vocal standpoint, but handled himself in the veteran manner that he has shown in the past. Herta Glaz in a minor role of Marcellina scored heavily with her brief appearance. In other roles were Gerhard Pechner, Alessio de Paolis, Gabor Carelli, Lorenzo Alvary and Genevieve Warner.

It was the first view this reviewer has had of the new sets for the Mozart “Marriage of Figaro.” The Metropolitan has gone all out in its efforts to give the music of Mozart the proper setting from a visual standpoint.

Scenes Colorful

The scenes are scrumptuous and colorful, with a special treatment in the “great hall” scene.

Fritz Stiedry was the conductor of this piece and kept the opera moving at the brisk pace that is necessary. He achieved some magnificent effects in the brilliant overture.

It was a great presentation of a great opera and one that augurs well for Oklahoma City patrons.

Victor Alessandro spoke to this writer during one of the intermissions and when told that Roberta Peters was singing the role of Gilda in Tuesday night’s performance in the city, was almost tempted to cancel his scheduled trip to New York.

He said Leonard Warren as Rigoletto and Roberta Peters as the ill-fated daughter, Oklahoma City has one of opera’s great treats in store.

Search by season: 1953-54

Search by title: Aida,

Met careers