[Met Performance] CID:109060
United States Premiere
Schwanda, the Bagpiper {1} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/7/1931.
 (United States Premiere)
(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 7, 1931 Matinee

United States Premiere
In German


SCHWANDA, THE BAGPIPER {1}
J. Weinberger-Kares

Schwanda................Friedrich Schorr
Dorota..................Maria Müller
Babinsky................Rudolf Laubenthal
Queen Iceheart..........Karin Branzell
Sorcerer................Ivar Andresen
Judge...................Giordano Paltrinieri
Executioner.............Marek Windheim
Devil...................Gustav Schützendorf
Devil's Disciple........Marek Windheim
Devil's Captain.........Max Altglass
Forest Guard............Max Altglass
Forest Guard............James Wolfe

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

Director................Hanns Niedecken-Gebhard
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Lillian Gärtner Palmedo
Choreographer...........August Berger
Translation by Max Brod

[In company programs, the opera was billed as Schwanda, der Dudelsackpfeifer,
with Schwanda, the Bagpiper as an alternate. The original title is Svanda Dudák.]

Schwanda, the Bagpiper was performed seven times this season.


Review of Pitts Sanborn in the New York World Telegram:

No matter whether times are good or bad, the American audience tends to take its opera tragically. The fun and frolic of lyric comedy are ruthlessly brushed aside in favor of hours of tragic gloom. Perhaps "Schwanda the Bagpiper" will prove an exception to an all too general rule. At any rate it deserves our favor.

The first performance in America of a German version of the Czech opera Saturday afternoon at the Metropolitan showed it both as a score overflowing with catchy music and as a fantastically entertaining play. The music is eclectic and by no means radical. The fugue and polka, which had previously been heard here in concert, are only two of its outstanding pages. Reminiscences of Smetana (above all of Smetana), of Wagner, and of Bohemian folk song are many. But Weinberger uses them with no little skill and the score as a whole has verve, impetuosity, and an engaging tunefulness.

The story of Schwanda's adventures from his own farmyard to a queen's palace, the headsman's block, and Hell itself, already has been told. These adventures are amply entertaining at the Metropolitan, they are framed in appropriate, richly colored, and sometimes highly amusing scenery by Joseph Urban. Saturday's cast could hardly have been surpassed. Friedrich Schorr, if not quite the physical type for Schwanda, yet played with delightful vivacity and sang superbly. There was also superb singing by Ivar Andresen as the Sorcerer.


Photograph of Friedrich Schorr in the title role of Schwanda the Bagpiper by Carlo Edwards.



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