[Met Performance] CID:186370

Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, November 30, 1960

Debut : Leonard Del Ferro

Carmen (599)
Georges Bizet | Henri Meilhac/Ludovic Halévy
Kerstin Meyer

Don José
Leonard Del Ferro [Debut] [Debut and only performance]

Teresa Stratas

Frank Guarrera

Carlotta Ordassy

Helen Vanni

Paul Franke

George Cehanovsky

Norman Scott

Clifford Harvuot

Nancy King

Bruce Marks

Jean Morel

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the New York Herald Tribune

Del Ferro Sings in 'Carmen' For First Time at the Met

Leonard Del Ferro made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Don José last night when he sang the role in the season's sixth performance of Bizet's "Carmen" with Kirstin Meyer again in the title role. The new tenor, who was born and has studied in Philadelphia, is no tyro on the opera stage, having sung at London's Covent Garden and the Vienna State Opera. He had also been heard with the Brooklyn Opera Company, but last night's appearance was his first in opera in Manhattan.

Mr. Del Ferro's interpretation of Don José indicated both operatic experience and knowledge of the role, if not a full realization of its musical and dramatic possibilities. His voice is of good size and of a character suited to this music, at its best, its tones were appealing and firm. Its quality had its uneven momens, including touches of hardness in some outspoken upper notes, and the Flower Song was handicapped, at times, by a rather opaque and unfocused timbre.

In this aria, however, Mr. Del Ferro's singing was expressively communicative, and this applied, as a rule, to his vocal performance in the first two acts. He also projected the hapless brigadier's emotions from a visual standpoint with considerable conviction, but some variations in persuasiveness. His impersonation as whole seemed well routined rather than exceptional, but a complete account of his vocal and dramatic resources should wait for some later appearances.

Miss Meyer's Carmen again was often vocally engaging, but uneven in quality; Teresa Stratas sang appealingly as Micaela, with Frank Guarrera as Escamillo and Norman Scott as Zuniga. Under Jean Morel's conductorship the performance had static moments and others when the spirit of the opera was more fully disclosed.

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