[Met Performance] CID:263570

Un Ballo in Maschera
Metropolitan Opera House, Tue, February 10, 1981

Un Ballo in Maschera (177)
Giuseppe Verdi | Antonio Somma
Gilda Cruz-Romo

Carlo Bergonzi

Louis Quilico

Bianca Berini

Roberta Peters

Julien Robbins

William Fleck

Arthur Thompson

Charles Anthony

Nico Castel

Michelangelo Veltri

Review 1:

Review of Lou Cevetillo in the Gannett Westchester Newspapers

True to form, Bergonzi sings another great Riccardo

There are times when everything clicks in the opera house. Tuesday evening at the Metropolitan Opera House something special happened . . . one of those memorable performances took place.

Heading the delights for the evening was tenor Carlo Bergonzi. Even though he was battling a stubborn ease of the flu, Bergonzi sang with the accuracy and freshness of 20 years ago. His Riccardo in Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" has traditionally been one of his greatest rôles. Tuesday night was no exception.

Bergonzi demonstrated his star quality by the fact that he chose to perform, while still being afflicted with the flu. Dr. Louis Perrotta, Bergonzi's personal physician, remained in the theater throughout the performance, just in case Bergonzi needed some medical attention. Dr. Perrotta even suggested Bergonzi cancel this performance, but the singer did not want to disappoint his public. He went on and sang one of the greatest performances heard from him this season.

Gilda Cruz-Romo sang Amelia with style and power, even though it was announced that she too was under the weather with the flu. Nevertheless, Miss Cruz-Romo offered an admirable performance. Her acting was not particularly convincing, but "Ballo" is a singing work and in that department Miss Cruz-Romo was more than acceptable.

Louis Quilico sang Renato with more vocal beauty than before. His sound was brilliant and seemed to have added power for the vocal climaxes. Quilico was replacing an indisposed Sherrill Milnes.

Roberta Peters sang a glorious Oscar bringing to the fore the many years' experience she has had with this rôle. Her voice sounded well rested and she brought cheers from the audience. Miss Peters' veteran style and vocal clarity made her performance more than simply a few fleeting moments in this powerful score.

Bianca Berini sang with more fervor as Ulrica in the second scene of Act I. Her chest tones and notes were equally brilliant and impressive.

Arthur Thompson's Silvano was well enunciated and believably acted.

Julien Robbins and William Fleck made conspirators, Samuel and Tom. Their voices too sounded with more resonance than on previous occasions.

Michelangelo Veltri conducted with concern for the principals and chorus. His tempi were more engaging and kept to the markings of Verdi's intentions as written in the score. There was life and power in Veltri's reading Tuesday evening.

"Un Ballo" depends on many things but the presence of a first rate tenor is crucial. As Riccardo, Carlo Bergonzi was just that. The top notes were brilliant as was Bergonzi's style for this Verdi piece. Bergonzi has been called the "Verdian tenor" for his concern for Verdi's style and idiom. Tuesday evening was an exercise in singing and the teacher was Carlo Bergonzi.

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