[Met Performance] CID:165570

Il Trovatore
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, April 17, 1954

Il Trovatore (278)
Giuseppe Verdi | Salvatore Cammarano
Gino Penno

Herva Nelli

Count Di Luna
Robert Merrill

Elena Nikolaidi

Norman Scott

Thelma Votipka

Thomas Hayward

Alessio De Paolis

Algerd Brazis

Fausto Cleva

Review 1:

Review of Jay S. Harrison in the Herald Tribune
Met Closes With “Trovatore”; Herva Nelli Sings Leonora

The Metropolitan Opera’s 1953-54 season was concluded with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” The cast, excepting Herva Nelli, who has never before sung Leonora’s role at the house, was a familiar one and included Gino Penno as Manrico, Robert Merrill as the Count di Luna, Elena Nikolaidi as Azucena, Thelma Votipka as Inez and Norman Scott as Ferrando. Fausto Cleva was again the expert conductor.

Miss Nelli proved to be a rather tender and fragile Leonora, which fact kept her, in the main, on the fringe of the evening’s melodramatic proceedings. There was to her work very little intensity and only a hint of the savagery with which the unfortunate heroine is often read. As a result, Miss Nelli’s impersonation seemed somewhat pale when compared to the bursting and primitive power projected by the remaining members of the cast.

Her singing, however, was not without eloquence and flashes of beauty. The soprano’s phrases, though of no great breadth, were rounded, cannily conceived and appropriately designed to communicate the meaning of the librettist’s words. Colors, also, there was in abundance, and Miss Nelli – despite her refusal to attempt the high D flat at the first act’s end – had little difficulty hitting and sustaining her tones above the staff. In all, it was a rendition that concentrated on the vocal aspects of the score and left the opera’s dramatic vehemence to shift for itself.

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