Douglas Watt within the New York Each day Information:
The “Mourning Turns into Electra” that had its world premiere Friday night on the Met is a tellingly staged melodrama, handsomely mounted. The query is, is it an opera?
I’m inclined to assume not. True, a lot of the dialogue is sung, and there’s a busy orchestra, and these components ought to qualify it as an opera. However the nagging reality stays that it’s the Electra legend and Eugene O’Neill’s adventurous use of it and, lastly, librettist Henry Butler’s admirable focus of O’Neill that engross us. We’re, virtually with out pause, within the presence of pure theater.
Marvin David Levy’s rating merely helps this impression. It’s like shrewd background music for a movie thriller, written after witnessing the rushes in a projection room. Besides. in fact, that he had to offer a vocal line. However that hardly issues. . .
The dearth of heady set items is one among two main causes for doubting that this “Mourning Turns into Electra” is an opera. The opposite is that Levy has not outlined his characters musically, apart from displaying their current emotional states every so often by having them shuffle and quaver a vocal line. In the primary, he has contributed spook music – rattles, groans, rasps, tintinnabulations and such. There’s even a taped part, earlier than the ship-board scene, of lapping water and different harbor sounds. Sounded fairly good, by the best way. Elsewhere, the between-scenes music is simply noodling to maintain us engaged. The work, operating to virtually 4 hours, with intermissions, is split into three acts, one for every of the performs making up the O’Neill trilogy.
Zubin Mehta performed the entire affair brilliantly and Michael Cacoyannis directed his singers as in the event that they have been merely actors, giving them steadily significant gestures, actions and even facial expressions to maintain the play alive.
The forged is first-rate. Marie Collier, an Australian soprano making her Met debut as Christine (Clytemnestra) Mannon, is a high-quality determine of a brunette girl with a robust, clear and imperious voice. And Evelyn Lear, an American soprano forged as Lavinia (Electra) and likewise making her debut, is equally efficient because the obsessed daughter. The 2 stalk one another superbly. John Reardon is the Orin (Orestes) and a particularly interesting one. And Sherrill Milnes is superb as Christine’s lover, Adam Brant.
On this present day in 1951 soprano Victoria de los Angeles made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Marguerite
Birthday anniversaries of Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti (1863), soprano Franca Somigli (1901) tenor Walter Ludwig (1902), composer John La Montaine (1920) and mezzo-sopranos Betty Allen (1930) and Elisabeth Steiner (1935).