[Met Performance] CID:192010

Opening Night {78}, General Manager: Rudolf Bing

Andrea Chénier
Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, October 15, 1962

Andrea Chénier (101)
Umberto Giordano | Luigi Illica
Andrea Chénier
Franco Corelli

Maddalena de Coigny
Eileen Farrell

Carlo Gérard
Robert Merrill

Rosalind Elias

Countess di Coigny
Mignon Dunn

Gabor Carelli

George Cehanovsky

Andrea Velis

Calvin Marsh

Lorenzo Alvary

Jean Madeira

Osie Hawkins

Fouquier Tinville
Norman Scott

Roald Reitan

Lloyd Strang

Fausto Cleva

Dino Yannopoulos

Frederick Fox

Andrea Chénier received eleven performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Everett Helm in Musical America
The commonly held notion that opening night at the Metropolitan Opera is more of a social than an artistic occasion would appear to have some basis. This year, at any rate, it certainly did. The earliest opening in Met history took place on October 15. Mink, ermine, diamonds, emeralds and white ties were strongly in evidence.

The opera chosen to start this season on its merry way is a prime example of a "vehicle" for the splendid voices which the Met has. Umberto Giordano's "Andrea Chénier" is no operatic masterpiece. The story itself has dramatic possibilities galore and is superficially dramatic even in this version. But Giordano's music is too weak and too unoriginal to make the drama really credible. The discrepancy between the cliché-ridden score and the terrible events of the French Revolution is glaring. And the Met's staging, which dates back to 1954, did nothing to bridge this gap.

So "Andrea Chénier" remained a vehicle for Franco Corelli in the title role, whose high notes brought forth storms of "bravos" and who seldom sang below a forte during the entire evening; Eileen Farrell as Maddalena, whose generally good performance was marred by frequent pushing of her voice; and Robert Merrill, who gave an excellent accounting of himself as Gerard. In supporting roles, Jean Madeira (Madelon), Rosalind Elias (La Bersi), Lorenzo Alvary (Mathieu) and Mignon Dunn (Countess) contributed isolated bits of good singing and acting to a performance without profile. Fausto Cleva conducted energetically and did what he could to bring continuity into this random production, which no amount of flogging can bring to artistic life.

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