[Met Performance] CID:167770

Metropolitan Opera House, Tue, January 25, 1955

Debut : Martin Rich

Review 1:

Review signed C. B. in Musical America

This performance of "Manon." the season's fifth, signaled the Metropolitan debut of Martin Rich as a conductor. Although he has been listed as an assistant conductor with the company since 1950, this was Mr. Rich's first appearance in the orchestra pit, and he proved the assignment well deserved in his handling of the Massenet score. The performance as a whole had the sparkle and the delicious lightness of texture that is essential to bring the opera to life on stage. The singers were allowed some flexibility in tempos at climactic moments, but never so much as to distort the vocal line or ruffle the smooth unfolding of the action. Licia Albanese was heard in the title role, gaining in poise and fullness of voice as the evening progressed, and Cesare Valletti sang Des Grieux effectively, employing floating pianissimos in the upper register which he maneuvered with conviction and remarkable ease. Fernando Corena was again the amiable Lescaut, and Nicola Moscona lent authority to the role of the elder Des Grieux, which he was singing for the first time this season. Others in the cast were George Cehanovsky, a suave de Brétigny; Alessio De Paolis, as Guillot; and Margaret Roggero, Rosalind Elias, and Shakeh Vartenissian as the three actresses

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