THE New York City Opera is currently offering performances of Bizet's ''Carmen,'' and Saturday night there were some major changes
in the cast.
Susanne Marsee sang Carmen with a strong, healthy mezzo-soprano and was an attractive presence on stage.
It was not the most subtly inflected of Carmens, and Miss Marsee's voice does take on a gray quality in the lower,
growling regions of the role. Still, she is already good in the part and seems to have the ingredients to become much better.
The evening's Don Jose, Frederick Donaldson, seemed more dramatically aware and musically acute, but his was one of those frail,
incomplete tenor techniques that sits squeezed and intractable in the throat.
Elisabeth Braden as Micaela sounded thin and girlish in her bottom register, but her voice seemed to bloom into something
clear and clean in its higher reaches. Candace Goetz, another soprano, began Frasquita with a few moments of faded intonation but
went on to sing attractively for the rest of the evening.
Christopher Keene conducted with his customary energy. Some of the chorus work in Act I was out of phase, but the
ensemble in Act III worked very well.
new York Times October 18, 1983