[Met Performance] CID:125110
Lohengrin {426} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/13/1939.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 13, 1939


LOHENGRIN {426}

Lohengrin...............Lauritz Melchior
Elsa....................Kirsten Flagstad
Ortrud..................Karin Branzell
Telramund...............Herbert Janssen
King Heinrich...........Herbert Alsen
Herald..................George Cehanovsky

Conductor...............Erich Leinsdorf

Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Janssen Sings Telramund

The repetition of "Lohengrin" on Feb. 13 was marked by Herbert Janssen's first Telramund at the Metropolitan. The baritone sang the rôle with the lyricism that had distinguished his Wolfram in "Tannhäuser," but also with the dramatic weight necessary to carry conviction in the charge against Elsa and long colloquy with Ortrud in the second act. His production remained that of a well-schooled vocalist who has no need to force the tone and who aspires to preserve rather than shatter a melodic line.

The performance was one generally well sung, with Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad contributing much that was stirring in their achievements of the parts of Lohengrin and Elsa. Karin Branzell over-sang and overacted as Ortrud, but made felt the malignance of the invocation of the pagan deities. Herbert Alsen's King Henry suffered from vocal constriction, with now and then a weighty low tone to show what good material is being wasted because of a bad method. George Cehanovsky completed the cast as the Herald.

Erich Leinsdorf again obtained good results from the orchestra. The prelude to the third act was particularly well played. But there were some anxious moments in the unaccompanied quintet that follows the King's prayer. Mme. Flagstad apparently pulled her sagging companions back to pitch after she had stopped singing for a measure or two to get her bearings



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