[Met Performance] CID:184310

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, March 3, 1960

Debut : Pavel Lisitsian

Aida (637)
Giuseppe Verdi | Antonio Ghislanzoni
Antonietta Stella

Kurt Baum

Giulietta Simionato

Pavel Lisitsian [Debut] [Debut and only performance]

Nicola Moscona

Louis Sgarro

Robert Nagy

Helen Vanni

Katharyn Horne

Thomas Andrew

Donald Martin

Fausto Cleva

Note: Pavel Lisitsian sang Amonasro in Russian.

Review 1:

Review of Harriet Johnson in the N. Y. Post

Verdi was not only composer of "Aidas" last night at the Metropolitan Opera, he was interpreter too.

Baritone Pavel Lisitsian making his Met debut as Amonasro in "Aida"-the first Soviet artist to sing in the house-spoke to his daughter and everybody else in Russian. They all answered him in Italian.

The eloquence of the music, fortunately, in Acts II and III when Amonasro appears, is wonderfully expressive. Being well sung on this occasion, it was articulate enough to make the absurdity of characters conversing in different languages recede in importance.

Basso Alexander Kipnis was the last one to get away with the same travesty before the Golden Horseshoe. He sang the title role in Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" in Russian with the rest of the cast performing in Italian. During the late thirties, Gertrud Wettergren sang Carmen in Swedish.

Lisitsian's voice didn't sound as big or resonant as it had when he sang a recital in Carnegie Hall, Feb. 22, but the bright resonance of its quality and his admirable control were again manifested.

Splendidly costumed, he belied the fact that he was a king incognito and in captivity. He was minus a crown but exhibited a royal glitter.

In his big scene with Aida when he persuades her to extract from Radames his campaign plans, Lisitsian's acting was intelligent and forceful. Fausto Cleva conducted and Antionetta Stella sang the title role.

The surprise of the evening proved to be Kurt Baum as Radames. The veteran tenor has taken on a second youth. His voice was vibrantly convincing. Always the possessor of secure top tones, he is now, at last, phrasing with more sensitivity and becoming an actor. He proves that it's never too late.

But a Russian and a tenor notwithstanding, it was mezzo-soprano Giulietta Simionato who walked off with top honors. As Amneris, she was magnificent in voice and artistry.

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