[Met Performance] CID:110020
Die Walküre {255} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/20/1932.

(Debut: Göta Ljungberg
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 20, 1932


DIE WALKÜRE {255}

Brünnhilde..............Gertrude Kappel
Siegmund................Max Lorenz
Sieglinde...............Göta Ljungberg [Debut]
Wotan...................Friedrich Schorr
Fricka..................Karin Branzell
Hunding.................Siegfried Tappolet
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Marie Von Essen
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Pearl Besuner
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Dorothea Flexer
Siegrune................Grace Divine
Waltraute...............Henriette Wakefield

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

Review by Olin Downes in the New York Times

Miss Ljungberg's precise qualifications are not to be recorded here, on the basis of a first performance, in a review which, owing to an exceptionally crowded musical evening, can only take account of her interpretation in early scenes of the opera. On the occasion of the difficult test she displayed uncommon gifts, and in spite of being far from her best made a generally favorable impression.

The impression was not of a singing actress doing unusual things for their own sake, but of an original and sincere conception of her part in the drama. It will be possible to estimate the qualifications of Miss Ljungberg with more exactness and detail when she sings Elsa next Saturday evening and Brünnhilde in "Siegfried" on a later occasion. In the past she has taken Wagnerian roles but has also appeared as Tosca, Carmen, Salome, Monna Vanna and Judith in Eugene Goosens' opera of that name.

Miss Ljungberg is a personality likely to give much added interest to the latter half of the present Metropolitan season. She was recalled many times after the first and second acts.




Review signed h. in Musical America

The season's second "Walküre" on Jan. 20 was notable for the American debut of Göta Ljungberg, soprano, in the role of Sieglinde. One may dismiss the remainder of the cast by naming them and saying that they were all satisfactory in the rôles in which they have been heard before. They included Mme. Kappel as Brünnhilde, Mme. Branzell as Fricka, and, as the Valkyries Mmes. Manski, Wells, Besuner, Bourskaya, von Essen, Wakefield, Divine and Flexer. Mr. Lorenz sang Siegmund; Mr. Tappolet, Hunding; and Mr. Schorr, Wotan.

Mme. Ljungberg has three desirable qualities which have been absent from the Metropolitan for some time: she knows how to walk across the stage, she knows the decorative value of the lines of the human body and she realizes that synchronization of gesture with the music is to the advantage of both. The voice is one of size and of a quality appealing to the intelligence through its expressiveness rather than to the senses.

Vocally, her debut was scarcely a test, and while there was no sign of nervousness there was, often, a fluttery quality which, though its vibrations were never ample enough to be considered a tremolo, was a bit disturbing. One hopes that it is not a permanent defect of this otherwise charming singer.

Histrionically. Mme. Ljungberg would seem to be highly talented. She knows how to listen to what is going on on the stage. Even the lengthy scene at the table in Act I was given vitality by her intense interest in Siegmund's narration and there were other bits of acting that show careful schooling backed by solid intelligence.

With the audience her success was unqualified and the applause was not only prolonged but was from the house and not from a claque. It looks as though the Metropolitan had acquired a valuable artist if one may judge from one performance. There is no doubt that Mme. Ljungberg is a delightful one.



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