[Met Performance] CID:176310

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, November 30, 1957 Matinee Broadcast

Aida (607)
Giuseppe Verdi | Antonio Ghislanzoni
Mary Curtis-Verna

Carlo Bergonzi

Irene Dalis

Robert Merrill

Giorgio Tozzi

Louis Sgarro

Robert Nagy

Helen Vanni

Carmen De Lavallade

Geoffrey Holder

Fausto Cleva

Margaret Webster

Rolf Gérard

Zachary Solov

Stage Director
Nathaniel Merrill

Aida received fourteen performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

Met Hears Two Make 'Aida' Debut

Title Role Sung By Understudy

A new Aida and a new Amneris, both Americans, sang at the Metropolitan Opera House Saturday afternoon when Verdi's most often heard work had its first performance of the season. Mary Curtis-Verna replaced Renata Tebaldi, who had withdrawn from the cast owing to her mother's death yesterday morning, in the title role of Aida, while Irene Dalis' first appearance here as Amneris was as originally scheduled, with Carlo Bergonzi as Radames, Robert Merrill as Amonasro, Giorgio Tozzi as Ramfis and Louis Sgarro as the Egyptian king.

Both singers had made their Metropolitan debuts in other Verdi operas last winter. Miss Curtis-Verna was already acquainted with the role of Aida, which she had sung both in Italy and in this country, and her impersonation Saturday told of a sympathetic understanding of its musical and dramatic aspects. Her voice revealed a good range of volume and also of color, although in this respect its assets were not always fully revealed. Her singing also conveyed varied emotional atmospheres of the character; for the eye, her Aida had a definite and a persuasive personality.

Miss Dalis' Amneris was distinct in personality - and revealed an unusually - promising voice. Its potential in generous span of volume and musical hues were revealed in part in the earlier acts, despite some variability of equality and transitory hints of vocal tension.

Mr. Bergonzi's Radames was vocally straightforward and generally engaging; there was more fluency of tone after a not altogether effortless "Celeste Aida." The range of color was respectable, not unusually wide: the dramatic characterization satisfying while not unusually vivid. Mr. Merrill was mainly in good voice in a sympathetic impersonation which did not make Amonasro overly barbaric; Mr. Tozzi and Mr. Sgarro fared commendably.

Robert Nagy, singing the Messenger for the first time in this house, was in good vocal form for his relatively few measures; Helen Vanni was the unseen priestess. Fausto Cleva conducted a well integrated and balanced performance which was mainly on a superior musical level, and had a notable dramatic impact in the great semi-final scene.

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