[Met Performance] CID:123000
Die Walküre {296}
Ring Cycle [62] Uncut
. Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/17/1938.

(Debut: Enid Szánthó
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 17, 1938 Matinee


DIE WALKÜRE {296}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [62] Uncut

Brünnhilde..............Kirsten Flagstad
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Elisabeth Rethberg
Wotan...................Friedrich Schorr
Fricka..................Enid Szánthó [Debut]
Hunding.................Emanuel List
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Irra Petina
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Anna Kaskas
Siegrune................Helen Olheim
Waltraute...............Doris Doe

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

Review of Oscar Thompson in the Sun

"WALKUERE" GIVEN IN WAGNER CYCLE

Enid Szantho Makes Debut as Fricka in 'Ring' Opera

With a new Fricka taking her place auspiciously in a cast of favorite Wagnerians, the Metropolitan "Ring" cycle advanced through the three acts of "Die Walküre" yesterday afternoon, to the vehemently expressed satisfaction of a large audience. Artur Bodanzky, in the pit, again was very much in the vein, and his orchestra gave him playing of high quality. With a single exception, the principals were in good voice. Kirsten Flagstad as Brünnhilde and Lauritz Melchior as Siegmund fulfilled expectations by singing of a transcendent order in the scenes dominated by them.

Enid Szantho, already well known in the concert domain, was the new Fricka. Hers was a favorable debut and the audience had no hesitation about taking her to its heart along with the other principals. These, besides Flagstad and Melchior, were Elisabeth Rethberg as Sieglinde, Friedrich Schorr as Wotan and Emanuel List as Hunding. Miss Szantho's embodiment of her first Metropolitan role was one of dignity. In her reserve, she was neither the most vivid not the most shrewish of Frickas. As a detail, she was particularly well costumed.

Miss Szantho's voice yielded the same sense of amplitude in the opera house as it has done in concert auditoriums. Many phrases were sung with rich and vital tone. But there were inequalities of production and support which sometimes disturbed the musical line and resulted in something less than a maximum of effect. This was true of Fricka's most lyrical utterance, "Deiner ew'gen Gattin." Yet a moment later the lines attendant upon Fricka's exit were loftily and expressively sung.

Mr. Schorr, it was, whose singing was many degrees removed from his best. In fairness to the eminent baritone, who has been ill and who, moreover, is said to have been severely shaken by events that have taken place outside the world of the theater, it is enough to note that he struggled on to the end, gallantly contributing all he could to the performance in spite of a refractory organ.

The Flagstad Brünnhilde grows with each fresh experience. Her play of facial expression in the scene of Wotan's long narrative has become a rewarding study. Yesterday the "Todesverkundigung" took on a dark splendor of tone that was of haunting appeal. But it was in the last act, in the stormy, pathetic, heroic scenes with Wotan that the Norse soprano became again the super-singer of these times.

With Mme. Rethberg and Mr. List collaborating ably, Mr. Melchior did for the first act much what Mme. Flagstad did for the last. His singing of the "Wintersturme" Lied and the scene of the drawing of the sword maintained a level little short of the superb.

Along with such assets, there had to be accepted as liabilities a group of Valkyries whose voices waged tonal war, one with another, and some highly adventurous lighting of settings which in themselves are none too satisfying. It was a busy day for the department of moving clouds.



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