[Met Performance] CID:180430

Metropolitan Opera House, Tue, December 9, 1958

Otello (128)
Giuseppe Verdi | Arrigo Boito
Mario Del Monaco

Renata Tebaldi

Tito Gobbi

Martha Lipton

Paul Franke

Nicola Moscona

Clifford Harvuot

Charles Anthony

Calvin Marsh

Fausto Cleva

This performance marked the 150th anniversary of the House of Ricordi.

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

Met Gives 'Otello' to Mark 150th Year of Ricordi Firm

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the music publishing firm of G. Ricordi and Co., the Metropolitan Opera presented one of the company's most memorable productions, Verdi's "Otello," last night before a capacity audience including many members of social, musical and diplomatic prominence.

Mario del Monaco reappeared as Otello with Renata Tebaldi as Desdemona in this third performance of the season, which was for the joint benefit of the Metropolitan's Employees' Welfare Fund and the Casa Verdi for aged musicians in Milan, but there was a new Iago, Tito Gobbi, who sang the role for the first time on this stage.

Mr. Gobbi's representation of this paragon among operatic evildoers was individual and characterized by musicianship and dramatic discernment. Vocally he expressed Iago's moods, both when outspoken and when more subtly realized, and stirred Otello's jealousy without sacrifice of musicality of tone, achieving his aims by well wrought shading of emotional and musical color.

To the eye, his impersonation was also persuasive, while avoiding exaggeration of gesture. At the same time, he did not realize all of the impression of imminent, horrific evil which Iago can convey, and which is implied in the "Credo," but yet this was a noteworthy interpretation, particularly in its musical aspect.

Miss Tebaldi was again an appealing Desdemona, one who could arouse heartfelt sympathy for her plight as the victim of Iago's schemes. Her singing had its uneven moments, but yet it often represented her voice at its best, and as a medium of communicative emotion it also carried conviction. Mr. del Monaco also displayed some vocal unevenness; the unfettered spontaneity which is usually associated with his singing was not at hand here and there. But both his voice and Miss Tebaldi's gained as the performance advanced; while the tenor's characterization was expressively pungent visually and musically.

Martha Lipton as Emilia, Paul Franke as Cassio, Charles Anthony as Roderigo, Nicola Moscona as Montano and Calvin Marsh as the Herald completed the cast under Fausto Cleva's conductorship. The general musical interpretation mingled less convincing moments with superior ones early in the evening, but later it returned to the notable expressive standard that had marked the first "Otello" of the season.

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