[Met Performance] CID:100750
Lohengrin {362} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/24/1928.


Metropolitan Opera House
December 24, 1928


Lohengrin...............Rudolf Laubenthal
Elsa....................Florence Easton
Ortrud..................Margarete Matzenauer
Telramund...............Gustav Schützendorf
King Heinrich...........Richard Mayr
Herald..................Arnold Gabor

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Review (unsigned) in the New York Telegraph

Lohengrin Plays Santa to Elsa

Genial Old Boy Shaves Himself to Headline in Wagner Opera at Metropolitan

Christmas Eve at the Opera House.

It appears that Elsa of Brabant was in difficulties and dreamed of Santa Claus, who came, drawn not by reindeer, but by a beautiful swan, representing the snow. Father Santa Claus had his beard and was known as Lohengrin. His arrival was unexpected, save by Elsa, and it was greeted by much cheering among the courtiers.

As a result of this Christmas gift (the opera was "Lohengrin" of Richard Wagner), two very evil and scheming persons were unable to carry out their nefarious plans. Telramund, whose wife, Ortrud, was rightfully married to him, for one was black-hearted as the other, had decided they would rob Elsa of everything which belonged to her. Santa's, I mean Lohengrin's, quick work prevented all of that.

The audience at the Metropolitan last night must have been very late hanging their own stockings for they stayed to the end of the late last scene and acted as though there was nothing about this evening different to any other. Various attendants of the staff, however, did receive a considerable evidence of the general procedure of the season, for they left the building, carrying various kinds of bundles. Backstage, the singers and musicians had a celebration. At one point, when a trumpeter sounded the Herald's Call, I could have sworn he had a very good time.

Florence Easton was a good little lady, Elsa of Brabant, and Rudolph Laubenthal, in spotless white, was her Santa Lohengrin. Christmas or not, Laubenthal is the same, good to look upon, fine of physique - much better than St. Nick, but sometimes dreadfully straining of voice.

Gustav Schützendorf and Margaret Matzenauer, were Telramund and Ortrud, respectively, one looking more cruel than the other, but each singing beautifully. Richard Mayr was a good King Henry, just and fair, seated firmly on his throne under the elms. Arnold Gabor was the King's Herald.

The chorus was absolutely impossible from the point of view of good performing, but in the right mood for the evening. A little bird said that gifts had been passed around by quite a number of the stars and principals and that they had been opened before or during the performance.

Only one of the whole auditorium, audience and players, was completely the disciple of true art, and only art. He is Artur Bodanzky, who conducted the performance.

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