[Met Performance] CID:167290

Le Nozze di Figaro
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, December 9, 1954

Le Nozze di Figaro (140)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Lorenzo Da Ponte
Cesare Siepi

Nadine Conner

Count Almaviva
George London

Countess Almaviva
Lisa Della Casa

Mildred Miller

Dr. Bartolo
Gerhard Pechner

Jean Madeira

Don Basilio
Alessio De Paolis

Lawrence Davidson

Vilma Georgiou

Don Curzio
Gabor Carelli

Maria Leone

Sandra Warfield

Fritz Stiedry

Herbert Graf

Set Designer
Jonel Jorgulesco

Costume Designer
Ladislas Czettel

Zachary Solov

Le Nozze di Figaro received seven performances this season

Review 1:

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America

The season's first performance of Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" on Dec. 9 had the intimacy, fine ensemble and warm humanity that distinguished last year's production. There was one vast improvement. The messy sets of last season had been abandoned in favor of the familiar Jonel Jorgulesco sets of 1940, which have at least the merit of allowing the action to proceed smoothly.

Fritz Stiedry conducted with both understanding and affection, and after a nervous, occasionally unsteady first act, the score unfolded with spontaneous ease. Herbert Graf's direction, apart from a few touches of unnecessarily low comedy such as the leaps of Figaro and the clowning in the face-slapping, was consistent and in the spirit of the music.

The only unfamiliar member of the cast was Vilma Georgiou, who sang the role of Barbarina very prettily, in her first appearance in the part at the Metropolitan. Outstanding in finish of style, treatment of the recitatives and expertness of stage technique was George London, as Count Almaviva. His portrait of this extremely jealous and yet extremely unfaithful husband was worked out in minute detail, so that every word he sang made sense. Here is a young artist who never stops working.

Cesare Siepi's Figaro, also, improves steadily from season to season. He sang this time with greater fluency and with more dramatic nuance. "Se vuol ballare" was wryly ironic in feeling; "Non pin andrai" danced along merrily; and in his outburst, "Aprite un po' quegl'occhi," Mr. Siepi won the audience completely. Lisa Della Casa looked lovely as the Countess, and sang with absolute assurance, if not as effortlessly as she had on some previous occasions. A little less stage business during the "Dove sono" would have made it easier for her to keep the music flowing. Nadine Conner was in excellent voice and in high spirits, as Susanna. Some of the most elegant vocalism of the evening was offered by Mildred Miller in Cherubino's arias, "Non so più cosa son" (taken successfully at a vertiginous pace) and "Voi che sapete." The others in the cast, all admirable, were Jean Madeira, as Marcellina; Gerhard Pechner, as Don Bartolo; Alessio De Paolis, as Don Basilio; Gabor Carelli, as Don Curzio; Lawrence Davidson, as Antonio; and Maria Leone and Sandra Warfield as two Peasant Girls

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