[Met Performance] CID:167260

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, December 6, 1954

Review 1:

Review of L. T. in the Herald Tribune

'Aida' at the Met

A lusty performance or Verdi's "Aida" Monday at the Metropolitan Opera had Kurt Baum singing his first "Radames" of the season, and a stunning job he did, too. There was a last minute change of cast, in which the Metropolitan's new bass, Louis Sgarro, substituted for Luben Vichey as the King, Mr. Vichey being indisposed. Other members of the cast were Blanche Thebom as Amneris; Zinka Milanov as Aida; Ettore Bastianini as Amonasro; Norman Scott as Ramfis; James McCracken and Rosalind Elias.

Fausto Cleva conducted, and sprightly second-act choreography engaged the forces of Mia Slavenska, Larry Boyette and Louis Kosman.

It is no news to say that Mr. Baum sings well, but when he is in such fettle as last night, with seemingly endless resources of energy behind him and a rapport with the music and with his audience that moves him not only to project to the rafters, but to move about the stage with absolute joy, then it is news indeed. If there was a tone out of place or a phrase molded without its quota of bright nobility, this reviewer did not hear it.

Nor, for that matter, did he hear less superlative singing from the other principals. The Misses Thebom and Milanov, in particular, rang out with even more force and brilliance than is their wont, and Mr. Bastianini was no less pleasing, both from a vocal and a histrionic point of view.

Mr. Sgarro's performance, at almost any time of week, would have sounded a bit stronger than last night, for it was by comparison with the unusual energy stirring around him that his role, with its limited opportunities for display, seemed less arresting. It was, nevertheless, a smooth and eminently respectable impersonation.

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