[Met Performance] CID:183850

Cavalleria Rusticana
Metropolitan Opera House, Sun, January 17, 1960

Debut : Jon Vickers

Cavalleria Rusticana (415)
Pietro Mascagni | Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, Guido Menasci
Nell Rankin

Richard Tucker

Helen Vanni

Walter Cassel

Mamma Lucia
Thelma Votipka

Kurt Adler

Pagliacci (454)
Ruggero Leoncavallo | Ruggero Leoncavallo
Maria Nache [Last performance]

Jon Vickers [Debut]

Cornell MacNeil

Calvin Marsh

Charles Anthony

Joseph Folmer

William Starling

Kurt Adler

Review 1:

Review of Robert Sabin in the February 1960 issue of Musical America

At this performance (a benefit for the West Side Institutional Synagogue), the Canadian tenor Jon Vickers made his debut at the Metropolitan, in the role of Canio. Mr. Vickers had made an excellent impression at his New York debut, on Nov. 20, 1956, when he sang the role Florestan in the American Opera Society's concert performance of "Fidelio." He is an intelligent and sensitive artist, which (believe it not) is a great help in giving a good performance as Canio. We were spared excessive sobbings and rantings, and shown genuine heartbreak, instead. Vocally, Mr. Vickers strained a bit on top tones, but this may well have been debut nerves. At all times, his singing was well phrased and dramatically alive. One looks forward to hearing him in artistically more rewarding roles.

The cast was otherwise familiar, with Maria Nache, as a sultry but vocally insecure Nedda; Cornell MacNeil, as a vocally sumptuous and wonderfully sinister Tonio; and Charles Anthony and Calvin Marsh, as Beppe and Silvio.

There were two seasonal first appearances in the "Cavalleria" cast. Richard Tucker has always been an excellent Turiddu, and he was in top form. And Nell Rankin brought intensity to the role of Santuzza, though she was badly costumed and pushed her voice unnecessarily in climaxes. The others were in familiar roles: Helen Vanni, as Lola; Walter Cassel, as Alfio; and Thelma Votipka as Mamma Lucia.

Kurt Adler conducted both operas for the first time this season, and I am sorry to say in slapdash style. It is safe to guess that he had little rehearsal time, however, so it would be unfair to take him to task.

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