[Met Performance] CID:124920
Götterdämmerung {135}
Ring Cycle [64]
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 01/31/1939.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 31, 1939


GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG {135}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [64]

Brünnhilde..............Marjorie Lawrence
Siegfried...............Lauritz Melchior
Gunther.................Herbert Janssen
Gutrune.................Dorothee Manski
Hagen...................Emanuel List
Waltraute...............Karin Branzell
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

Review of Henry Pleasants in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin

Marjorie Lawrence Sings Brünnhilde in "Die Götterdämmerung"

The Metropolitan Opera Association presented "Die Götterdämmerung" at the Academy of Music last night, concluding the first complete "Ring" cycle the company has given in this city in some 25 years. The performance was keyed to the excellent standards of the preceding productions, and the evening was punctuated with spontaneous ovations for all concerned, especially for Mr. Bodanzky who directed with his much admired authority and insight.

Special interest centered in the Brünnhilde of Marjorie Lawrence who was making her first appearance in this cycle. She was heard earlier in the season in the company's lamented "Tosca." There was curiosity as well as interest in her performance, for she is an excellent horsewoman and has been known to bring the immolation scene to its proper climax by mounting Grane and riding off, if not into the flames at least into the wings.

It seems likely that she intended something of the kind last night, for she chose a split skirt for her last act costume. Grane, however, was skittish and obviously not impressed by the possibilities of immortality in a hero's funeral pyre.

Otherwise Miss Lawrence's Brünnhilde was a highly creditable but not a greatly distinguished achievement. It had many things in her favor, among them a statuesque and youthful figure and a strong and not unappealing voice. In appearance it was a Brünnhilde which made Siegfried's and Gunther's feelings in the matter seem entirely reasonable, and vocally it was commanding enough save for some hard driven top notes. It lacked, however, a convincing depth of feeling.

Granting the validity of the semaphore gesticulation traditional in Wagner's operas, Miss Lawrence's posturing still seemed superficial and calculated. Most artistic achievements are probably calculated more or less but the best of them do not betray it. This Brünnhilde was perfectly assured but seemed nevertheless self-conscious. One never had the feeling that Miss Lawrence was completely enveloped in what she was doing or that what she did was governed by spontaneous impulse.

Mr. Melchior was again the Siegfried, contributing a vocally brilliant and dramatically typical performance. Emanuel List's Hagen was a sinister house guest, malevolent and stentorian. Herbert Janssen's Gunther was as impressive as his Wanderer had been the week before. Dorothee Manski's Gertrune met the minimum requirements. Karin Branzell gave unusual distinction to Waltraute's agitated conversation with Brünnhilde. Adolf Vogel was again the Alberich. Thelma Votipka, Irra Petina, Doris Doe, Lucielle Browning, Max Altglass and Arnold Gabor filled in capably as assorted Rhine Maidens and Norns.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).