[Met Performance] CID:127920
Die Walküre {314}
Ring Cycle [68] Uncut
. Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/8/1940.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 8, 1940 Matinee


DIE WALKÜRE {314}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [68] Uncut

Brünnhilde..............Kirsten Flagstad
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Marjorie Lawrence
Wotan...................Friedrich Schorr
Fricka..................Kerstin Thorborg
Hunding.................Emanuel List
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Irra Petina
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Maxine Stellman
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Anna Kaskas
Siegrune................Helen Olheim
Waltraute...............Doris Doe

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

FLAGSTAD AND MELCHIOR HEARD IN "DIE WALKÜRE"

Those of the town's devoted Wagnerites who could manage the price and the time assembled at the Metropolitan yesterday afternoon to hear "Die Walküre," the second presentation of Mr. Johnson's current Wagner daytime cycle. There was an additional inducement in the presence of Mme. Flagstad in the cast, not to speak of Mr. Melchior and Mr. Leinsdorf - the musical trio much in the operatic eye of late as participants in guerilla warfare on the Metropolitan front.

The reader will recall that a truce had been patched up between the Wagnerian conductor and the Helden tenor, in honor of which the two had shaken hands during curtain-call time at a recent performance of "Die Walküre." How then is one to account for Mr. Melchior's strange behavior in the first act of the same opera yesterday when, as Siegmund, he prolonged the reiterated "Wälse" for so long a period that the hardened Wagner lovers in the audience gasped at the sacrilege? Mr. Melchior had never before shown such fondness for this work and note, and the thought might have taken shape in sophisticated minds that he was trying to disconcert Me. Leinsdorf in the pit, whose stick stood frozen in the air until the tenor chose to let the show go on. Of course it is possible that the long-held notes represented collusion between Mr. Leinsdorf and Mr. Melchior, but considering what it did to Wagner, such an assumption can be dismissed as far-fetched. At any rate, the thing did happen, and the reader is left to draw his own conclusions as to its origin and motivation.

Flagstad as Brünnhilde

Mme. Flagstad assumed the role of Brünnhilde, and her war cry was, as usual, a delight to sensitive ears, while the dramatic intensity and apparently utter belief in what she was doing added greatly to the credibility of Wagner's mythology. Mme. Thorborg made a splendid Fricka, both vocally and histrionically, and Mr. Schorr was an impressive Wotan, except when he was obliged to cope with the higher reaches of his music. The Sieglinde of Marjorie Lawrence, and a very vital Sieglinde it was, leaving as it did more to passion than to poetry.

Mr. Leinsdorf made his orchestra play eloquently, but it seemed to me that one or two of his singers on the stage was not always attuned to his beat. The large audience was most enthusiastic, and staged the usual demonstrations.



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