Music: Second Start

In her Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Gluck's Alcestis (TIME, Dec. 19), Soprano Eileen Farrell, 40, left her fans cheering a reputation instead of a performance: the fabled power and warmth were there, but the voice wobbled shrilly in the upper registers. Last week, appearing in some of the Met's fastest company (Mezzo Nell Rankin, Tenor Richard Tucker, Baritone Robert Merrill), Singer Farrell made her second Met start—the title role in Ponchielli's La Gioconda. Blonde-wigged and almost wobble-free, she supplied the spectacular singing her audience had come to hear.


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