[Met Performance] CID:124270
Götterdämmerung {134} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/12/1938.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 12, 1938


GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG {134}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Kirsten Flagstad
Siegfried...............Carl Hartmann
Gunther.................Julius Huehn
Gutrune.................Dorothee Manski
Hagen...................Emanuel List
Waltraute...............Kerstin Thorborg
Alberich................Adolf Vogel
First Norn..............Doris Doe
Second Norn.............Lucielle Browning
Third Norn..............Dorothee Manski
Woglinde................Thelma Votipka
Wellgunde...............Irra Petina
Flosshilde..............Doris Doe
Vassal..................Max Altglass
Vassal..................Arnold Gabor

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

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

Götterdämmerung received five performances this season.

Review of Samuel Chotzinoff in the Post

"Götterdämmerung" Heard With Flagstad as Brünnhilde

Hartmann Fails to Match the Work of the Soprano in Wagner's Cycle Finale

Wagner's "Götterdämmerung" was performed for the first time this season at the Metropolitan last night. The cast included the Mmes. Flagstad, Thorborg and Manski and the Messrs. Hartmann, Huehn, List and Vogel. Mr. Bodanzky conducted.

The great finale of the "Ring" cycle requires, among other things, the participation of a soprano and a tenor who possess sufficient vocal and dramatic resources to convey the tragic climax of the Rhine saga. Last night's performance fulfilled only half of this requirement. Mme. Flagstad's Brünnhilde remains a characterization in the grand style of Wagner's music drama. The Metropolitan has known more impassioned "Götterdämmerung" Brünnhildes, but not, I believe, better sung.

Unfortunately Brünnhilde must have a Siegfried to share with her the burden of carrying the story, and I regret to say that Mr. Hartmann was not an ideal helpmate. To the "Götterdämmerung" Siegfried, Wagner has allotted some tall singing and Mr. Hartmann's vocal endowment falls short of the taxing demands of the score. And yet, who could blame Mr. Johnson for going easy on Mr. Melchior, the Met's prize Wagnerian male. Rather should we blame this age of specialization in which singers are not just singers but become Wagnerian or French or Italian singers. In the old days Jean De Reszke used to sing Faust one night and Siegfried the next, and his voice was the better for it.

The major achievement in last night's presentation was Mme. Thorborg's Waltraute. Hers was a touching and beautifully sung characterization. Next to Brünnhilde Waltraute is the most interesting of the warlike daughters of Wotan. Indeed, one would like to know something more about Waltraute after the great scene between her and her sister. More dutiful and more mindful of her duties as a goddess than her erring relation, Waltraute gives one the feeling that she, too, is all too human, and that she would have behaved as Brünnhilde did had she been given the chance.

Julius Huehn as Gunther, Emanuel List as Hagen and Mr. Vogel as Albrich were all in the Wagnerian picture.



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