[Met Performance] CID:173080

La Bohème
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, November 8, 1956

Review 1:

Review of Robert Sabin in Musical America

The elements of novelty in this performance were supplied by the conductor, Thomas Schippers, and the Marcello of the cast, Enzo Sordello. Mr. Schippers had conducted his first "Boheme" at the Metropolitan on Nov. 3, at the season's first performance, and Mr. Sordello had made his debut with the company at that time. It was plain that Mr. Schippers had very precise ideas about Puccini's score, and, after a somewhat stiff first act, the performance was marked by flow and easy transition as well as sensitive detail. This young American is making a distinguished record at the Metropolitan.

Mr. Sordello was a wholly acceptable Marcello without achieving anything memorable in this role. His voice was a bit throaty and forced at times, but both his singing and acting improved after the first act, in which all of the artists except Lucine Amara seemed tense. Miss Amara was a lovely Mimi. Her singing was marked by exquisite touches of phrasing and coloring, and her acting of the death scene left everyone bathed in those Puccinian tears which are so refreshing because so easy to brush away, for all their sincerity. Miss Amara is singing like an angel this season.

Daniele Barioni, the young Italian tenor brought over last season by the Metropolitan, sang with a fresh and naturally appealing voice, but he has still not learned anything about stage deportment and the art of acting. Except in the death scene, where he actually came to life, he was awkward and wooden throughout.

Laurel Hurley was an admirable Musetta both vocally and dramatically. The others in the cast were Clifford Harvuot, as Schaunard; Norman Scott, as Colline; Lawrence Davidson, as Benoit; Charles Anthony, as Parpignol; Alessio De Paolis (always superb, no matter what the role) as Alcindoro; and Calvin Marsh, as a sergeant.

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