Lou Cavetillo in the Gannett Westchester Newspapers:
Saturday evening the Metropolitan Opera presented latest and newest Gioconda, Eva Marton. Since there is no record of Miss Marton having performed “La Gioconda” before Saturday, one can safely assume this was one of the first of her career, if not the first.
Eva Marton came to the attention of the operagoers last season when she costarred with Birgit Nilsson in “Die Frau ohne Schatten.” Miss Marton, who has made most of her career as a soprano in the German wing, was hardly a candidate to cross over into the Italian repertory, which is sadly lacking a major, dramatic soprano. And, when it was announced she was to sing her first Gioconda in the Met this season, the feelings were that she had neither the temperament nor the idiomatic grasp of the Italian sector. Well, after Saturday night there should be little doubt the Met and the operatic world have a new sterling Gioconda. Miss Marton all but stole the show from the rest of her cast. She sang this demanding rule as if it were a ditty. Her intensity of voice as well as drama, made this the most memorable Gioconda since Renata Tebaldi sang it at the Met in the late ’60s.
Miss Marton’s voice is not only huge and expressive, but it has a full-bodied resonance and warmth. In her Act IV aria, “Suicidio,” Miss Marton stopped the show cold with a storm of “bravas” and thunderous applause. For a moment the old magic was once more back at the Met. It was fun to hear the old sounds of audience hysteria for a great performance, instead of the mild applause that so often caps a performance in that house.