[Met Performance] CID:174490

Cavalleria Rusticana
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, March 22, 1957

Cavalleria Rusticana (386)
Pietro Mascagni | Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, Guido Menasci
Zinka Milanov

Richard Tucker

Rosalind Elias

Frank Valentino

Mamma Lucia
Thelma Votipka

Fausto Cleva

Hans Busch

Set Designer
Horace Armistead

Costume Designer
John Robert Lloyd

Pagliacci (425)
Ruggero Leoncavallo | Ruggero Leoncavallo
Lucine Amara

Kurt Baum

Robert Merrill

Frank Guarrera

Charles Anthony

Fausto Cleva

D?sir? Defr?re

Set Designer
Joseph Novak

Cavalleria Rusticana received five performances this season.
Pagliacci received five performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Harriett Johnson in the New York Post

"Cavalleria," "Pagliacci" Sung at Met

Though the so-called operatic twins, "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci," did not thrill us with artistic uplift Friday night at the Metropolitan Opera, we must not forget that the music went on under the aegis of Fausto Cleva, and that it's strong, realistic stuff. The double bill has been absent from the repertory for a season, and this was Cleva's first conducting of the operas at the Met. Some of his tempos could be questioned, but he directed with a virile, lusty command which kept things moving with momentum. There was plenty of full-throated singing, including some excellent vocalism, some of which, coupled with bad acting, was not so good, and there were questionable points of stage direction. The attempt at humor, for instance, in the Easter procession was offensive.

Horace Armistead's picturesque set of a Sicilian village in "Cavalleria," was always a pleasure to look at, even if what went on in front did not offer the happiest illusion. Tenor Richard Tucker as Turiddu, came off best of the major singers, both in looks and in high calibre of singing. Zinka Milanov's added weight prevents her from appearing believable as Santuzza, and she was not in her best voice though, as always, there was much to admire, and moments of voluptuous beauty. Rosalind Elias proved a seductive-looking Lola, while she sang in a manner to match her appearance. Frank Valentino was the Alfio, Thelma Votipka a first-rate Mama Lucia.

If Kurt Baum's tenor could be heard most of the time in the high register, and if he didn't have to act, all would be well. His Canio was not to be looked at. Robert Merrill's sumptuous baritone opened the opera with a vibrant performance of Tonio's "Prologue."

As Nedda, Lucine Amara sang with floating tones which were often luscious in quality, and she acted with believable intensity. Frank Guarrera provided a handsome Silvio and Charles Anthony's lyric tenor was well suited to the minor role of Beppe. This young singer also is showing improvement in his vocal technique.

The next showing of the "Twins" will be Thursday. Principals for the cast of the Mascagni opera remain the same. In "Pagliacci," Delia Rigal will be Nedda, Mario Ortica, Canio, Leonard Warren, Tonio.

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