[Met Performance] CID:122040
Siegfried {175} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/3/1937.

(Debuts: Carl Hartmann, Adolf Vogel, Marita Farell

Metropolitan Opera House
December 3, 1937


Siegfried...............Carl Hartmann [Debut]
Brünnhilde..............Marjorie Lawrence
Wanderer................Friedrich Schorr
Erda....................Kerstin Thorborg
Mime....................Karl Laufkötter
Alberich................Adolf Vogel [Debut]
Fafner..................Norman Cordon
Forest Bird.............Marita Farell [Debut]

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

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

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

Siegfried received six performances this season.

Review of Noel Straus in the New York Times

A nobly impressive and excellently sung performance of Wagner's "Siegfried" was given last night at the Metropolitan. The presentation was one not equaled in certain respects for many seasons, and there were three debuts to lend extra interest to the proceedings. Of the new singers Carl Hartmann, a German tenor not unknown hereabouts, naturally aroused most curiosity, since to him had been allotted the difficult title role. Adolf Vogel, the Alberich of the cast, and Marita Farell, who sang the tricky music of the Forest Bird, were the other newcomers.

Mr. Hartmann scored an immediate and pronounced success as the heroic protagonist. His work has grown immeasurably since he first was heard in this city with the German Grand Opera Company at Mecca Temple six years ago. In the interim he has appeared at the German Opera House of Berlin Charlottenburg and the Municipal Theatre of Cologne and added many cubits to his stature as an artist.

Of imposing height and with the fresh, powerful voice required for the exacting music, Mr. Hartman not only looked the young Siegfried of this scherzo of the "Ring," but sang it with a youthful impetuosity and exuberance which brought him a huge hand by the time the first curtain had been rung down.

Achieves Poetry and Power

Although the role makes inordinate demands on its interpreter, Mr. Hartman's tones were as pure, as true to pitch and as resonant in the closing act as at the start of the opera. For if unsparing in his generous vocalism, he never once resorted to forcing, with the result that he kept his admirably free vocalism unblemished throughout the evening. Even in the songs of the forging of the sword there was no attempt to press on the tones, which rang forth with an electrical effect that enthralled the large audience. 'There was poetry as well as power in Mr. Hartmann's work, in which his able histrionism matched the animated and vital character of his singing. It is quite some time since any other Siegfried at the Metropolitan has so nearly embodied one's ideal of the part.

Mr. Vogel's Alberich was also a superior creation. It is difficult to remember when any one has surpassed his interpretation so far as its vocal aspects were concerned. Few who essay the part refrain from barking the music. But throughout the entire episode with the Wanderer, Mr. Vogel delivered every phrase with laudable care and finished art, without detracting from the malevolent qualities of his excellent delineation of the Volsung dwarf.

Miss Farell at Forest Bird

As the Forest Bird Miss Farell failed to reach the success won by the male contingent among the new arrivals. Her voice was heavier than that of many who have been assigned the ornithological music at the house of late years, but it was too "spread," vague in pitch and unsteady to make adequate headway with the exacting phrases.

The rest of the cast had all been heard in this opera previously. Mr. Schorr, in superb voice, especially during the first act, was as dignified and eloquent an exponent of the Wanderer as one could hope to find, and Mr. Laufkoetter again was expert in all respects as Mime. The great duet of the last act was splendidly encompassed, both by Mr. Hartmann and Miss Lawrence, whose art grows increasingly more significant. Her interpretation was on a higher plane than when she last sang this Bruennhilde here and both she and Miss Thorborg, the accomplished Erda of the personnel, added materially to the joys of a remarkable performance. As Fafner, Mr. Cordon was unhappily cast, the music of the part being too weighty and low for him.

The orchestra did much to make the evening memorable. There were none of the distressing sounds too often encountered in Wagnerian, music-dramas at the Broadway house in recent seasons, and the support was in every way worthy of the attainments of the artists on stage. Mr. Bodanzky led with fine authority and held his forces together with a master hand.

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