[Met Performance] CID:120230
Die Walküre {284} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/8/1937.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 8, 1937


DIE WALKÜRE {284}

Brünnhilde..............Marjorie Lawrence
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Kirsten Flagstad
Wotan...................Ludwig Hofmann
Fricka..................Kerstin Thorborg
Hunding.................Emanuel List
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Irra Petina
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Anna Kaskas
Siegrune................Helen Olheim
Waltraute...............Doris Doe

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

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

Miss Lawrence Heard in Role of Brünnhilde

Sings 'Die Walküre' Lead in 1st Appearance of Her 2nd Metropolitan Season

Flagstad as Sieglinde

Melchior Is Siegmund, but Hofmann Enacts Wotan

Wagner's "Die Walküre," which opened the season at the Metropolitan Opera House eighteen days ago with Kirsten Flagstad as Brünnhilde, had the peerless Norwegian soprano in the role of Sieglinde in its repetition last night, while Marjorie Lawrence made the first appearance of her second season as Wotan's favorite daughter, Lauritz Melchior reappeared as Siegmund, Emanuel List as Hunding and Kerstin Thorborg as Fricka, but the Wotan to whom she laid down the moral law this time was Ludwig Hofmann instead of Friedrich Schorr.

Miss Lawrence made her American debut as the Brünnhilde of "Die Walküre" thirteen months ago, and the young Australian soprano's impersonation of the role, which offered much to admire at that time, has grown in insight and understanding of its dramatic requirements, which with youth and comeliness, she suite well in appearance.

The singer brings more to the role than outward suitability; she was able to portray realistically and communicatively the wide gamut of emotions to which Brünnhilde is subject, and to combine dignity with expressive effectiveness, while during Wotan's summary or events in the second act, proving a good operatic listener. Her voice, however, has not yet overcome certain drawbacks; it has power and emotional color, but the more vigorous higher notes still sometimes seem forced, or their tone tends to spread and lack focus. Her best singing was in the middle and lower notes, especially in the sustained phrases of the "Todesverkundigung"scene, where the tones were warm and well phrased.

Mme. Flagstad made her American debut as Sieglinde on that memorable afternoon of February 2, 1935, an occasion fondly to be remembered by all devotees of Wagner, but, what with the merits of her Brünnhilde, she has more often been heard in the latter role. Yet it would be hard to choose between her interpretations in either assignment; her Sieglinde is also one the foremost impersonations of this generation, in voice and action. To enlarge upon its features would take undue latitude of time and space, but to select an instance or two, it will be long before the striking effect of utter exhaustion after a long flight on her entrance in the second act is forgotten, or the full-toned, concentratedly climactic eloquence of her "O herates Wunder!" in the third.

Mr. Melchior was in his best voice in a strongly dramatic representation of Siegmund, and Mr. Hofmann's Wotan was distinguished and impressive, admirable in its emotional vividness, especially marked in his outburst of despair after Fricka has forced acceptance of her demands. One might wonder whether it would not be more appropriate to pronounce the final "dich!" in the second act with a more moderate volume than Mr. Hofmann gives to it, but he was generally in very good voice. Mme Thorborg again was a dignified, decisive Fricka; Mr. List merited praise.

The orchestra, apart from a slip in the first announcement of the sword motif, was in good form, and there was a special demonstration before the third act for Artur Bodanzky.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).