[Met Performance] CID:118060
Lohengrin {402} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/21/1935., Broadcast

(Debut: Julius Huehn

Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 21, 1935 Matinee Broadcast


LOHENGRIN {402}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Lauritz Melchior
Elsa....................Lotte Lehmann
Ortrud..................Marjorie Lawrence
Telramund...............Friedrich Schorr
King Heinrich...........Emanuel List
Herald..................Julius Huehn [Debut]

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

Director................Leopold Sachse
Designer................Joseph Urban

Lohengrin received six performances this season.

Review of Marcia Davenport in the March 1936 issue of Stage magazine

As it has been for some years now, the company is still at its best in Wagner. Here the full value of the greatly improved orchestra is immediately apparent, and when he feels in the mood Mr. Bodanzky can extract some good sounds from it. The first "Lohengrin" of the season presented Lotte Lehmann and Lauritz Melchior in roles which only artists so good can make credible. Lohengrin is a sap, as somebody observed, to foist his incognito on a woman who is a bigger sap taking a husband with fewer credentials than she would demand from a butler. Yet what Lehmann and Melchior do for these two saps is worth making an effort to hear. Elsa was sung with virginal freshness and rapture that never fail to be truly moving; but far more satisfying, since it gave the artist something to sink her teeth into, was the Elisabeth she sang in "Tannhäuser" the following week. There is nothing on the operatic stage to be heard and seen like the authentic ecstasy of Lotte Lehmann's greeting to the Hall of Song, and nothing more heartrending than her prayer beside the shrine, twenty years later. When she raises her voice in the soaring, piteous supplication "Allmächtige Jungfrau" she invests the music and the situation with one of the genuine inspirations that are the whole reason for opera's existence - and that, nevertheless, will always be too rare.

There is something compelling in the indubitable fact that no matter what the extent and excellence of a great singer's repertoire, there are always some parts, more often one particular part, in which the artist achieves a perfect psychological and physical unity with the character. In the case of Lehmann her Elisabeth is one such part, and in the case of Kirsten Flagstad, Isolde is another. It may be harsh to judge Flagstad for her Elsa and her Elisabeth, both of which, when she sang them recently, were projected with excellent musicianship and sincere artistry, but which failed to convey the inner quality of either legendary maiden. On the other hand, her Isolde is a miracle. No more valid inspiration, and no better singing the difficulties could be realized



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