[Met Performance] CID:120410
Siegfried {170} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/22/1937.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 22, 1937


SIEGFRIED {170}
Wagner-Wagner

Siegfried...............Lauritz Melchior
Brünnhilde..............Kirsten Flagstad
Wanderer................Friedrich Schorr
Erda....................Kerstin Thorborg
Mime....................Karl Laufkötter
Alberich................Eduard Habich
Fafner..................Emanuel List
Forest Bird.............Stella Andreva

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

Director................Leopold Sachse
Set designer............Hans Kautsky
Set designer............Jonel Jorgulesco

[Jorgulesco designed the set for Act III, Scene 2.]

Siegfried received five performances this season.


Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Vienna and San Francisco had heard her in the role, the one last autumn, the other more than a year ago. New York waited until the evening of Jan. 22 for its first glimpse of Kirsten Flagstad's "Siegfried" Brünnhilde. Several times scheduled, illness or other unexpected developments caused her to relinquish the part each time to some other singer; so, familiar as were its "Walküre" and "Götterdämmerung" counterparts, the characterization was, for Manhattan, as fresh and revelatory of Mme. Flagstad's art as was her recently disclosed first Senta.

Vocally she was on the heights most of the time from her first "Heil dir, Sonne" to the last exultant "Leuchtende Liebe, lachender Tod." If the final high C was not a stirringly climatic one, that midway in the scene was. Phrase on phrase was of an almost unprecedented opulence and power. Visually, she was reassuringly successful with the awakening and its attendant gestures, one of the most trying of the problems Wagner contrived for his interpreters. The impersonation had conviction and personal appeal. Brünnhilde was a goddess no more; the being whom Siegfried had awakened within Wotan's protecting ring of fire was a woman, tender and proud.

The exaltation of Mme. Flagstad's beautiful singing was shared by Lauritz Melchior as Siegfried. He, too, surpassed himself in the long scene of the awakening and avowal of heroic love. His tones took on an exceptional warmth, his shaping of phrases was winningly lyrical, his treatment of the emotional aspects of the dramatic situation was masterly.

A third superb embodiment was that of the Wanderer by Friedrich Schorr. Familiar as it has been through his years of service at the Metropolitan, the pealing sonority of his voice was of noble effect. New in this ensemble were the Mime of Karl Laufkötter, the Erda of Kerstin Thorborg and the Forest Bird of Stella Andreva. The tenor gave a vivid and well-sung account of the treacherous dwarf, one of the most engrossing of recent memory. Mme. Thorborg's singing was incisive and dramatically pointed, if of less tonal weight than sundry Erdas of the past. Miss Andreva warbled tunefully the phrases of the feathered intelligencer. Completing the cast were Eduard Habich, convincingly malicious as Alberich, and Emanuel List, the most sonorous of current Fafners. With Artur Bodanzky's players responding nobly to his exhortations, the performance was orchestrally, as vocally and dramatically, a very superior one.



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