[Met Performance] CID:177290

Gianni Schicchi
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, March 1, 1958

Debut : William Lewis

Review 1:

Review of Jay S. Harrison in the Herald Tribune

The conclusion of a vocal track meet, a debut and the appearance of a leading mezzo-soprano in a role she had never before sung with the company, were the features of Saturday night's performance of Strauss' "Salome" at the Metropolitan Opera. Walter Cassel, in his third major part in two days, sang Jochanaan for the first time at the house, as a replacement for the indisposed Mack Harrell; William Lewis made his Met debut as Narraboth, and Regina Resnik was the new Herodias. To top it off, Erich Leinsdorf conducted "Salome" and its curtain raiser, Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi," for the first time in New York, The remaining participants, who were notable for being familiar in their roles, included Inge Borkh as Salome, Norman Kelley as Herod and William Wilderman as the First Nazarene.

Mr. Cassel, rather than seeming taxed by his rendition of Scarpia on Friday and Kurvenal on Saturday afternoon, sang as though he had been occupied by nothing more difficult than "Sweet Georgia Brown." The fact is, if you know how to sing properly you can sing forever without visible strain, and Mr. Cassel's technique is everywhere sturdy and thoroughly first class. Thus, his Jochanaan was honeyed and resonant in its singing, and his interpretation of the biblical Baptist made him a creature noble in his wrath and passionate in his contempt for every earthly pleasure.

As to Mr. Lewis, he was, in his brief appearance as Narraboth, immensely impressive on stage, and his tenor has grown remarkably in carrying power. His is not a big voice certainly, but it has a. silverish beauty of tone that gives off a dazzling light. Further, Miss Resnik's Herodias was a character all clawing and intense, and sung so as to suggest that her talents gain audibly as each day passes.

And with the orchestra in Mr. Leinsdorf's hands it is no surprise that it crackled with life and did, in fact, what every major band does before a major maestro - played with a vengeance and with every stop pulled out.

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Search by title: Gianni Schicchi, Salome,

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