[Met Performance] CID:243400

Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, November 21, 1975

Debut : José Van Dam

Carmen (732)
Georges Bizet | Henri Meilhac/Ludovic Halévy
Régine Crespin

Don José
James McCracken

Lucine Amara

José Van Dam [Debut]

Alma Jean Smith

Cynthia Munzer

Andrea Velis

Russell Christopher

Andrij Dobriansky

Gene Boucher

Lillas Pastia
Paul Franke

Henry Lewis

Review 1:

Review of John Rockwell in The New York Times

José Van Dam, the Belgian bass who made his Metropolitan Opera debut Friday night as Escamillo in "Carmen," is the leading singer of the role in the world today and on Friday he showed why.

Escamillo is hardly all simpleminded, stentorian bravado. The range is treacherously wide, from solid bass to high baritone, and there is as much demand for soft, sensitive singing as for swagger and bluster. Most Escamillos content themselves with belting out the top notes and doing a lot of cape-swirling and let the rest fall where it will.

Mr. Van Dam s high bass encompasses the top of the part a bit better than the very bottom. It is a large, mellow instrument, able to modulate smoothly into soft singing. And his stage presence made the matador a fully commanding figure without falling into macho cheapness.

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