[Met Performance] CID:196020

La Bohème
Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, October 16, 1963

Debut : Maria Gray, Anton Diakov, Emil Filip, Hugh Thompson

La Bohème (610)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/Giuseppe Giacosa
Raina Kabaivanska

George Shirley

Maria Gray [Debut]

Calvin Marsh

Clifford Harvuot

Anton Diakov [Debut]

Fernando Corena

Lorenzo Alvary

Emil Filip [Debut]

Lloyd Strang

Edward Ghazal

Fausto Cleva

Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Rolf Gérard

Stage Director
Hugh Thompson [Debut]

While this was Hugh Thompson's debut as a Stage Director, he had had a distinguished career with the company as a baritone.
La Bohème received twenty-four performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Michael Brozen in Musical America
The news in the Met's first "Bohème" of the season (October 16) was the debut of Maria Gray, as Musetta. Miss Gray's steely voice and lively acting made Act II the evening's high point. Musetta's waltz song is not meant to be a pretty-pretty number (just listen to the words), and Miss Gray's aptly hard sound and manner clearly demonstrated the character's sluttish side, making a perfect contrast to Mimi's simpler and sweeter disposition. But Miss Gray had her tender moments, too, as in Act IV, where her concern and grief were realistically but tastefully realized.

Also making his debut was Anton Diavok, as Colline, who sang with a pleasant, if small, voice but kept his eyes firmly fixed on the prompter throughout the evening.

Raina Kaibavanska sang her first Mimi at the house, often crossing the line between pathos and bathos. Except for some nice things in Act III, she was beset by problems of pitch, vocal color, and expressivity.

George Shirley, as Rodolfo (also a Met first), brought much enthusiasm but little polish to the role. His best singing was in the middle and lower registers; the upper register often sounded out of control. Notable was Shirley's restraint in the death scene, and the relaxed way he handled the stage business in all the acts.

Calvin Marsh was an excellent Marcello, his first at the house, singing and acting with conviction and contributing greatly to whatever degree of authenticity the evening achieved.

Others in the cast were Clifford Harvuot (Schaunard), Fernando Corena (Benoit), Emil Flip (Parpignol), Lorenzo Alvaro (Alcindoro), Lloyd Strang (A sergeant) and Edward Ghazal (A customs officer). Fausto Cleva conducted with a light and bright hand.

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