[Met Performance] CID:114240
Die Walküre {267} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/11/1934.

(Debut: Lotte Lehmann
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 11, 1934


DIE WALKÜRE {267}

Brünnhilde..............Gertrude Kappel
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Lotte Lehmann [Debut]
Wotan...................Ludwig Hofmann
Fricka..................Karin Branzell
Hunding.................Emanuel List
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Philine Falco
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Margaret Halstead
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Irra Petina
Siegrune................Elda Vettori
Waltraute...............Doris Doe

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


Review of Hubbard Hutchinson in The New York Times:

Mme. Lehmann's voice is not immense in volume as operatic voices go, yet she used it so beautifully that it seemed far larger than it is. Her pianissimo, of exquisite quality, carried to the farthest corner of the house; her fortissimi pierced without difficulty the climaxes of the orchestra. At the beginning of the scene with Siegmund, and indeed well into the middle of Act I, it was not a warm voice and there were moments of slight departure from pitch, and apparently slight forcing at the top, as in the final apostrophe to Siegmund.

But if her first act was of a sort to startle the critical faculty into sharp attendance and admiration, her performance in the second had an electrifying quality that swept that faculty away for once and made even the guarded listener a breathless participant in the emotions of the anguished Sieglinde.

Review of Leonard Liebling in The New York American

Previously known here as a finished exponent of German Lieder in recital, Lotte Lehmann made her local operatic debut last evening at the Metropolitan as Sieglinde in "Die Walkuere." Mme. Lehmann is no newcomer to the lyric stage, for at the Vienna Opera she has long been one of the adornments in Wagnerian and lesser soprano roles. Other European theatres and the late Chicago Civic Opera Company also are acquainted with Mme. Lehmann's striking gifts in the realm of costumed song.

To tell the story of her achievement last night is to report a complete triumph of a kind rarely won from an audience at a Wagnerian occasion. The delighted auditors vented their feelings in a whirlwind of applause and a massed chorus of cheers. At the end of the first act Mme. Lehmann had half a dozen individual recalls and on every side one heard excited and rapturous comment. The stir made by the artist was in every way justified. Of statuesque figure and attractive features, Mme. Lehmann appealed to the eye as irresistibly as she wooed the ear. She has a full, rich voice, brilliant in the upper range and sensuously tinted in the middle register. It is a lyric-dramatic organ, ideal for the role of Sieglinde, and gives forth power as easily as it sounds the gentler accents.

More expressive, emotional, lovely singing has not been heard from any soprano at the Metropolitan for many a season, and, better still, Mme. Lehmann is musical and stylistic in the highest degree. A true Wagnerian artist whom the most diligent fault-finder would be estopped from faulting. In her acting, Mme. Lehmann interprets the impulsive, romanticist rather than the scheming woman who coldly plots the sleeping potion for her husband. Lissome, clinging, impassioned, here was the ideal Sieglinde to inflame Siegmund and sweep him to heroic deeds.

Lauritz Melchior was in every way a worthy partner for his great Sieglinde. His towering height and his heroic, fiery acting made for a strikingly realistic Siegmund. His singing had tremendous conviction and noble vocal quality. Not soon will one forget his overpowering delivery of the "Waelse, Waelse," and his invocation to the sword. With each new Wagnerian appearance, Melchior augments his standing as a ranking authority in that operatic department. He helped to end the first act in a blaze of glory, and was equally remarkable in his heartfelt, moving interpretation of the second-act scene with Sieglinde and Bruennhilde.

Mme. Gertrude Kappel gave her familiar version of the Valkyrie, an intelligent, feeling conception, lacking only in the all required vocal force of the top tones. Emanuel List repeated his clear-dictioned and grimly effective Hunding. Ludwig Hofmann again was a dignified and sonorous Wotan. Karin Branzell as Fricka courageously disregarded her recent illness, but still showed its traces in voice and action.

Artur Bodanzky and his orchestra contributed masterfully to one of the most compelling and grandiose "Walkuere" performances within my ken as a critic.





Photograph of Lotte Lehmann as Sieglinde in Die Walküre.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).