[Met Performance] CID:167030

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, November 12, 1954

Il Barbiere di Siviglia (258)
Gioachino Rossini | Cesare Sterbini
Robert Merrill

Roberta Peters

Count Almaviva
Cesare Valletti

Dr. Bartolo
Fernando Corena

Don Basilio
Cesare Siepi

Jean Madeira

George Cehanovsky

Alessio De Paolis

Rudolf Mayreder

Alberto Erede

Review 1:

Howard Taubman in The New York Times
“Barber of Seville” Youthful Cast Offers Spirited Performance For those opera first nighters who didn’t know how “The Barber of Seville" started and how it all came out, there was a chance last night to become oriented. Having performed only the second act at Monday's open*ing, the Metropolitan presented all of Rossini's opera last night, and it made a full, pleasant evening on its very own. The truth is that 'The Barber of Seville" almost never fails of its effect. It chuckles and bubbles and often guffaws. Given any kind of a passable performance, it is guaranteed to entertain. Given a spirited and imaginative one, as it was last night, it is a delight. The Metropolitan is performing "The Barbee” in Cyril Ritchard's lively production. Although Mr. Ritchard is not on hand this season to watch over it, the job of keeping the company faithful to his staging has been entrusted to Robert Herman. This young stage director, who is the son of the Dodger immortal, Babe Herman (which will not be held against him in Manhattan), has kept the performance fresh. Since it is not bad taste to give a rookie advice, he had better be cautioned: there are moments when the boys and girls let their acting get out of hand and if you are not careful, we will soon be back to the tastelessly hammed up "Barbers" of yore. This "Barber" has a company of first-rate young singers who have some aptitude for comic movement. Roberta Peters sings Bosnia brilliantly, making even the coloratura passages count both musically and theatrically. Cesare Valletti is an Almaviva of subtlety and refinement, but he pushes now and then and his tone loses its transparency. Robert Merrill is a volatile Figaro, and his singing has thrust and vocal opulence. Fernando Corena and Cesare Slept make a pair, of capital comic bassos. Mr. Corena sings Bartolo with vocal resourcefulness and plays him amusingly. Mr. Siepi makes Basilio, a figure full of humor, and his singing of "La calumina" is a tour de force. Jean Madeira, George Cehanovsky and Alessio De Paolis do small roles with a relish for character acting. Alberto Erede, who has acquired an elegant Van Dyke beard this season, conducts just as elegantly. If the company will not let this "Barber" get out of hand, it should be one of the theatre's ornaments for a long time.

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