[Met Performance] CID:221670

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, June 6, 1970

Debut : Elinor Ross

Turandot (107)
Giacomo Puccini | Giuseppe Adami/Renato Simoni
Elinor Ross [Debut]

Franco Corelli

Pilar Lorengar

Raymond Michalski

Theodor Uppman

Andrea Velis

Charles Anthony

Emperor Altoum
Robert Schmorr

Robert Goodloe

Prince of Persia
Edilio Ferraro

William Breedlove

Lawrence Eddington

Harry Jones

Hubert Farrington

Donald Mahler

Phillip Rice

Kurt Adler

Review 1:

Review of Byron Belt for the Newwhouse newspapers

Demanding Debut at Met

To debut at the Metropolitan Opera, to debut as a replacement for phenomenal Birgit Nilsson, and to debut in the fiendishly difficult title role of Puccini's "Turandot," is a formidable combination to be faced by any singer.

Elinor Ross, an American born and trained soprano with considerable operatic experience in Philadelphia, Chicago, Milan, Florence and Vienna, stepped in Saturday evening for the ailing reigning Turandot of our day, and acquitted herself in a thoroughly professional manner. Cheers greeted the singer, and it must be noted that they were not offered only for her plucky effort, but seemed genuinely enthusiastic. Our own enthusiasm is somewhat more restrained.

We have watched Miss Ross' career with considerable interest for more than a decade. There is no question but that the voice is of healthy size and intermittently lovely. It is, however, most erratically produced. Some lack of polish may be attributable to debut nerves, but the general level of performances through the years has remained about what it was Saturday. In her expressively sung "In Questa Reggia," the top notes seemed reasonably secure, but the low and middle portions of the voice were swallowed by the heavy orchestration. It wasn't until the conclusion of the love duet near the end that her voice finally soared easily with the requisite beauty and brilliance.

Elinor Ross seems destined to be a "useful" singer, the kind who will always give a professional performance, and whose large voice will be welcome in the dramatic repertory. It was good to have her triumphant smiles at the end of a demanding evening received with friendly pleasure by the volatile audience.

One of the reasons for the evening's excitement was the flinty tenor of Franco Corelli. The handsome Italian was neither at his animal best or vocal worst, but there was one brief moment when he seemed to be almost dramatically involved. It passed quickly, however, and did not damage his model maequi reputation as the least stageworthy of today's vocal heroes.

Pilar Lorengar, the lovely Spanish soprano so often under-appreciated, provided' the evening's one authentically moving and sumptuously sung performance. Her hapless Liu touched and ignited the audience, and her success seemed particularly deserved.

For the rest, Raymond Michalski, Robert Goodloe and Theodore Uppman were splendid, while the incredibly inept conducting of Met Chorus Master Kurt Adler brought forth more than the usual boos and hissing when he took his undeserved bows.

One despairs of the Met ever learning how degrading it is to our major house to permit such incompetence in its pit. One also despairs of the company ever correcting its pronunciation of "Turandot" from rhyming with "pot" to rhyming with "doe" as the first Turandot, Rosa Raisa, and one of the greatest, Eva Turner, always insisted.

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