[Met Performance] CID:173640

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, January 3, 1957

Ernani (29)
Giuseppe Verdi | Francesco Maria Piave
Mario Del Monaco

Zinka Milanov

Don Carlo
Frank Guarrera

Don Ruy Gomez de Silva
Giorgio Tozzi

Helen Vanni

Don Riccardo
James McCracken

George Cehanovsky

Pierre Lacotte [Last performance]

Lynn Marcus [Last performance]

Dimitri Mitropoulos

Review 1:

Review of Jay S. Harrison in the Herald Tribune


Tozzi and Guarerra Sing in Verdi Opera at the Met

The repetition of Verdi's "Ernani" last night at the Metropolitan Opera brought with it the first major changes of cast that have been made since the work's new production was premiered seven weeks ago. Giorgio Tozzi appeared as Don Silva for the first time with the company and Frank Guarerra sang his initial King Charles at the house. The otherwise familiar performers included Zinka Milanov as Elvira, Mario Del Monaco as Ernani, James McCracken as Don Riccardo, George Cehanovsky as Jago and Helen Vanni as Giovanna. Dimitri Mitropoulos was again the conductor.

In almost every way, Mr. Tozzi quite proved to be the hit of the show. His basso is deep, unclouded, resonant as a gong and handled to perfection. No barker he, Mr. Tozzi produces tones that are ever rich of color and a quality whose nap is rich and luxurious. Moreover, he sings an even scale, a fact amply illustrated by his resounding rendition of the "Infelice," and his registers are melted together with nary a hint of a break. Likely in the future Mr. Tozzi's importance to the Metropolitan will increase, or so it should. He is young, a credit to the opera house, and his musical instincts seem wholesome and sound. We will hear more of him, that much is sure.

For his part, Mr. Guarerra was placed in the rather disagreeable position of having to

sing a role whose demands are apparently too extreme for his voice. Thus he was reduced to forcing, which, in turn made him emit tones that were hard, colorless and somewhat thin in substance. In addition, Mr. Guarerra has yet to learn the trick of making a regal character sound regal and imperious through use of the voice alone. His king Charles, in consequence, was only a quasi-noble figure, a man who strutted with pomp but sang with little majesty.

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