Virgil Thomson in the Herald Tribune:
Lisa della Casa, a Swiss soprano of good European repute, made her first appearance last night With the Metropolitan Opera Company as the Countess, in Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro.” Her voice, velvety and vibrant, is one of great natural beauty. She seems to be well schooled too, for she sang on pitch and she made no ugly sounds. All the same, both her arias, the “Porgi amor” and the “Dove sono,” were a touch disappointing for lack of a grand line. Note by note they were lovely, but the notes did not assemble. There was plenty of breath (and the “Dove sono” takes it), but one was aware of breathing problems. Miss della Casa seems to be a great find. One does hope that she will get her confidence quickly, for if she does not she will lose her audience. And that would be a pity for an artist with qualities so superior.
Irmgard Seefried, a German soprano well known in this country, made her Metropolitan debut at the same time, as Susanna. Vocal security and stage assurance were hers in abundance. The voice is pretty too, though less fresh than Miss della Casa’s. Competence marked her every move and utterance. I wished all evening that I could find her work more interesting than I did.
On this day in 1907 bass Fyodor Chaliapin made his Met debut as Boito’s Mefistofele.
On this day in 1808 Beethoven’s Fidelio premiered in Vienna.
Happy 85th birthday tenor René Kollo.
Happy 74th birthday soprano Barbara Hendricks.
Happy 72nd birthday tenor Vinson Cole.