[Met Performance] CID:167640

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, January 13, 1955

Review 1:

Review signed R. A. E. in Musical America

Three new principals, with Pierre Monteux once again on the conductor's stand, helped to make this a particularly perceptive performance. Mr. Monteux made of Massenet's score an exquisite tissue of sound, which floated or rippled along with wonderful limpidness as it accompanied the doings onstage. Licia Albanese, singing the title role for the first time this season, acted with greater restraint than she had in former years, colored and phrased her music and text with notable understanding, and used her vocal resources to excellent effect - all towards a characterization that was genuinely touching. Also returning to his role was Frank Valentino, the Lescaut. In good voice, he gave a musicianly performance, acted with his wonted intelligence and forthrightness. Giacinto Prandelli was a new Des Grieux, vocally tasteful and in style, but flaccid in manner. In the "Ah, fuyez," he reached a satisfactory climax by shrewdly starting the aria with a soft tone, as if in a trance.

Others in the cast were Jerome Hines (the Count), Shakeh Vartenissian (Poussette), Margaret Roggero (Javotte), Rosalind Elias (Rosette), Alessio De Paolis (Guillot), George Cehanovsky (De Bretigny), Lawrence Davidson (Innkeeper), James McCracken and Calvin Marsh (Two Guards). Mia Slavenska, Diana Turner, and Malcolm McCormick headed the Cours la Reine ballet.

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