[Met Performance] CID:196040

Don Giovanni
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, October 18, 1963

Debut : Leopold Simoneau, Neyde Thomaz

Don Giovanni (237)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Lorenzo Da Ponte
Don Giovanni
Cesare Siepi

Donna Anna
Teresa Stich-Randall

Don Ottavio
Leopold Simoneau [Debut]

Donna Elvira
Lucine Amara

Fernando Corena

Neyde Thomaz [Debut]

Theodor Uppman

Ernst Wiemann

Joseph Rosenstock

Herbert Graf

Eugene Berman

Zachary Solov

Stage Director
Patrick Tavernia

Don Giovanni received fifteen performances this season.
Photograph of Leopold Simoneau as Don Ottavio by Louis Mélançon/Metropolitan Opera.

Review 1:

Review of John Ardoin in Musical America
Eugene Berman's glorious production of "Don Giovanni" returned to the Metropolitan on October 18, with a cast that included two debuts: Canadian tenor Leopold Simoneau, as Don Ottavio, and Brazilian soprano Neyde Thomaz, as Zerlina.

Simoneau is a well-known and greatly admired musician and his Met debut was long overdue. Like most Ottavios, he simply planted his feet in one spot and sang, but what singing! The long lines in "DaIla sua pace," sung pianissimo the second time around, were met with a wave of applause that threatened to halt the performance — indefinitely. Later, "II mio tesoro" was similarly cheered. His ensemble work was intelligent and courteous, and everything added up to a grand debut.

Miss Thomaz was a pert and pretty Zerlina, whose melting voice has an attractive dark coloration in the middle register. Her singing above the staff was not always a complete joy, and the messy 16ths in "Batti, batti" were probably due to debut jitters.

Teresa Stich-Randall returned as Donna Anna after a single appearance in the role last season, and the honors of the evening were divided between her and Simoneau. Her propulsive entrance set the audience reeling with excitement, and the magnificently sung "Or sai chi l'onore" brought the evening's first ovation. The combination of majestic acting and glorious singing made Miss Stich-Randall's Anna one of the memorable characterizations at the Metropolitan today.

The balance of the cast was familiar: the suave Giovanni of Cesare Siepi, the impressive Commendatore of Ernst Wiemann, the good-natured Leporello of Fernando Corena, the village-idiot Masetto of Theodor Uppman and the lifeless, empty-headed Elvira of Lucine Amara.

Things were a bit shaky from time to time between pit and stage, but in general Joseph Rosenstock was solidly in charge. Wonder why he let the harpsichordist tinkle away through Elvira's "Ah, fuggi, traitor"?

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