[Met Performance] CID:213230

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, January 18, 1968

Carmen (613)
Georges Bizet | Henri Meilhac/Ludovic Halévy
Regina Resnik

Don José
Nicolai Gedda

Jean Fenn

Justino Díaz

Lilian Sukis

Marcia Baldwin

Charles Anthony

Gene Boucher

Morley Meredith

Ron Bottcher

Zubin Mehta

Review 1:

Review of Irving Kolodin in the Saturday Review

[Attention to the further matter of the Philharmonic evening that brought the Bennett premiere ( Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem and André Watts as soloist in the B-flat Piano Concerto of Brahms)] was interdicted, in the military sense, by Regina Resnik's first Metropolitan Opera House Carmen since 1958 as an emergency replacement for Elena Cernei. On the credit side was the resolute Resnik's ability to concentrate attention on herself amid the pageantry and trivia of the present Barrault-Dupont production. This underscored the experienced, convinced, and highly motivated performer of this part that Resnik has become over a twenty-year span, locally at City Center and in various theaters abroad. It expressed itself through the gusty, sharply defined, and consistently intelligent action she presented as well as a careful, musicianly treatment of the musical line.

The debit side, however, cannot be ignored. It exists and must be reckoned with. To say that she suggests a rather matronly wanton is to record a fact rather than to state an opinion. For all her gusty, sharply defined, and consistently intelligent action, Resnik does not bear herself as a willful, loose-living, impulsive embodiment of Carmen's "here today, gone tomorrow" philosophy should. One wonders, indeed, how she had so long managed to escape the inevitable consequences of the irresponsibility conveyed by those repeated bursts of hysterical laughter.

Vocally, Resnik performed in a manner to be described as interesting, resourceful, and adroit rather than sensuous, seductive, or fulfilling of Bizet's line. The cast was otherwise as it has been, save for a lessening of influence in the part of Micaela through Jeannette Pilou's replacement by a less plausible, rather routine effort by Jean Fenn.

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