Cher Public

The biting and the fighting

On this day in 1939, the Metropolitan Opera on tour in New Orleans presented Carmen featuring Bruna Castagna in the title role. 

James A. Wobbe in the New Orleans Sunday Item-Tribune:

Madame Castagna, who virtually stole the show as Amneris in Verdi’s Aida on Tuesday night, turned in the finest Carmen this reviewer has ever witnessed. Added to the great charm of her liquid voice, a voice of wide range and dominant personality, she is an actress in every sense of the word. Her coquettish, wanton, biting, fighting cigarette girl leaves us with the feeling that we shall never see it excelled.

The remarkable flexibility of her voice was demonstrated in her robust singing of the “Habanera,” and “Seguidilla,” and the tragic depth she put into the fortune-telling song “In vain! to shun the answer.”

201 years earlier, Handel’s Serse premiered in London.