[Met Performance] CID:267290

Luisa Miller
Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, January 20, 1982

Luisa Miller (46)
Giuseppe Verdi | Salvadore Cammarano
Katia Ricciarelli

Luciano Pavarotti

Leo Nucci

Count Walter
Paul Plishka

Richard Vernon

Bianca Berini

Claudia Catania

Lou Marcella

Nello Santi

Review 1:

Edward Rothstein in The New York Times
Opera: Return Of Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti was unable to sing in the first two Metropolitan Opera performances of "Luisa Miller" because of illness. There may have been remnants of that weakness on Wednesday night, when the tenor appeared as Rodolfo. His voice cracked slightly and sounded pressed during the first act; there was some weakness in pianissimo passages and unnecessary swells before ends of phrases.

But "Quando le sere" had a sleek sound and emphatic lyricism, even if it did not seem an impassioned expression of betrayed love. By the time Rodolfo himself was sick — dying of poison — Mr. Pavarotti was singing with poise and virility. The voice displayed its power and focus despite illness of character and singer.

In another cast change, Richard Vernon as Wurm, with his uncertain pitch, proved to be a shaky foil to either Mr. Pavarotti or Paul Plishka's Walter.

But he and all the other singers were delicately applauded by the costumed menagerie of onlookers that the Nathaniel Merrill production arrayed vertically on the stage in 19th-century mock-opera boxes. Had this gimmick out of modernist theater been used with irony, as part of a production exploring the manners of grand-opera attendance and grand-opera plotting, then it might not have seemed so sad. As it was, it only emphasized that the grand-opera tradition — despite all attempts by a house and a director – has actually come to an end.

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