[Met Performance] CID:11840
Lohengrin {77} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/1/1894.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 1, 1894
In Italian


LOHENGRIN {77}

Lohengrin...............Jean de Reszke
Elsa....................Emma Eames
Ortrud..................Emmy Fursch-Madi
Telramund...............Jean Lassalle
King Heinrich...........Edouard de Reszke
Herald..................Antonio De Vaschetti

Conductor...............Luigi Mancinelli

Unsigned review in The New York Times

"LOHENGRIN" EXCELLENTLY SUNG.

An Admirable Cast Brought Together in Wagner's Tuneful Opera.

The third performance of Wagner's "Lohengrin" was given at the Metropolitan Opera House last night The cast has been changed at each successive performance for the better, and that of last night was the best of all. It seems to be an important part of the policy of the present managers of the house to endeavor to attract the public by strong combinations of singers. In a company organized and conducted on the methods of the French and Italian stages this system is inevitable. The presentation of "Lohengrin" last night was notable for individual excellences rather than for any concerted effort to embody the underlying spirit of the work. This, indeed, seems to be possible only to Germans, who know the significance of the legend, and are accustomed to treat it with respect. The Germans, however, seldom give such gracious utterance to the smooth and mellifluous music as the Italians do.

It seems, then, that we must choose between a vocal performance of the opera in which such dramatic impersonations as are attempted are varied in thought and an interpretation of Wagner's inmost poetic feeling, with some superficial deficiencies in the technical treatment. However, there is one part of the opera in which we can always be sure of vocal defects, no matter who is giving the performance, and that is the choral part. In the first act last night the choristers distinguished themselves by singing out of tune in the good old-fashioned manner.

But as the performance was one in which individual merits were the feature, it may be as well to view it from that ground. It should be said, therefore, that a better cast would be difficult to find. M. Jean de Reszke sang the music of Lohengrin beautifully. His acting was graceful and interesting, though somewhat deficient in weight and repose. M. Lassalle's Telramund is already known to be a virile and well-conceived interpretation, and the music suits his voice thoroughly. M. Edouard de Reszke is a superb King Henry, and his singing of the music was somewhat better, if anything, than usual.

Mme. Emma Eames was a most interesting Elsa. She looked a picture, and her acting was full of simple dignity. Her singing was excellent all the time. Mme Fursch-Madi was the Ortrud. As has already been said, her voice is not as full and powerful as it was some years ago, but it is still a musical one, and her knowledge of the art of song has lost none of its activity. Her understanding of the dramatic meaning of the part is full and satisfying, and in the tragic duo of the second act she was superb.

No one concerned in last night's representation deserves a greater need of praise than the conductor, Signor Mancinelli. His knowledge of the score of "Lohengrin" is exhaustive. His memory is master of the music. He knows every entrance and every nuance, vocal and instrumental, and his reading of the work is such as to satisfy the most enthusiastic Wagnerite, The orchestra under his command is a fine one, and its playing last night left nothing to be desired.



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