[Met Performance] CID:263430

Die Zauberflöte
Metropolitan Opera House, Tue, January 27, 1981

Debut : Osceola Davis

Die Zauberflöte (239)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Emanuel Schikaneder
Gail Robinson

David Rendall

Queen of the Night
Osceola Davis [Debut]

John Macurdy

Christian Boesch

Louise Wohlafka

James Atherton

Allan Monk

First Lady
Patricia Craig

Second Lady
Ariel Bybee

Third Lady
Isola Jones

David Owen

Carl Tramon

Owen Renfroe

Dana Talley

Gene Boucher

Timothy Jenkins

William Fleck

Lawrence Foster

Review 1:

Review of Lou Cevetillo in the Yonkers Herald-Statesman

The Met's 'Zauberflote' sparkles

A fine cast of polished performers and talented newcomers gave us Mozart's final opera "Die Zauberflote" in high style at the Metropolitan Opera Tuesday night.

Though the Marc Chagall production looked a bit dull after all these years, there were some sparkling moments, some offered by tenor David Rendall as Tamino. This role is obviously well-suited to his lyric voice, making him one of the better interpreters of this role at the Met. His voice offers an attractive timbre, and is more than enough to offset his rather still stage presence.

As his Pamina, soprano Gail Robinson sang with style and clarity. With only a few moments of sounding a bit reedy on the top lines, Miss Robinson sang a polished and gratifying performance.

Making her debut last night, coloratura soprano Osceola Davis sang the Queen of the Night. A frightful role to sing even for the 50th time, it could be sheer terror to sing in a debut. Miss Davis did sing her two powerhouse arias a bit cautiously, but seemed to warm up in the final moments of her Act II appearance. Perhaps, nerves could account for the pitch problems on some of the treacherous phrases heard last night from Miss Davis. However, her voice, although light, bears an attractive color and should do well in the right repertory at the Met.

Christian Boesch nearly stole the show as the birdman, Papageno. His endearing stage demeanor and comedic timing made his presence a joy to experience.

John Macurdy, meanwhile, sang a stodgy Sarastro, with some very pleasant middle and top tones. Unfortunately, his bottom tones, crucial to this part, were simply too anemic to make much sense. Macurdy is a veteran bass, but not even his experience could exonerate his lack of range in this role. The comprimario roles of Monostatos and Papagena were ably sung by James Atherton and Louise Wohlafka, respectively.

Although Lawrence Foster did not render a precision performance from the pit, he did address himself to the ensemble nature of this cast. Foster seemed overly concerned with the voices onstage, never overshadowing them with his musicians. Tempi and accents were a bit less than accurate, but he did succeed in making his singers sound their best throughout.

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