27 DECEMBER 1963, Page 14


SIR,—Worthy institution though it is. the St. Pancras Town Hall is no place for early Verdi; indeed, in the definitive sense, it is no place for Verdi of any period.

When that old-time impresario—was it Harry Higgins?—demanded for a Meyerbeer production 'the seven greatest singers in the world and 825,000' he had the right idea. Verdi is greater than Meyerbeer but, halving the singers and doubling the money, Covent Garden's Don Carlos has already shown us that his needs can be met and how. To the extent that Attila is not Don Carlos, it would require a greater expenditure of talent and money. There is a wealth of operas to choose from—Ernani and Luisa Miller at once spring to mind—but if any one of them is to be adequately presented, facts must be faced—three facts, at least : I. The need for great singing; 2. The expenditure of about 00,000; and 3. The resources of a great opera house, which means, here, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Nothing less will do.