[Met Performance] CID:128850
Tannhäuser {319} Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia: 04/24/1940.


Atlanta, Georgia
Municipal Auditorium
April 24, 1940


Tannhäuser..............Lauritz Melchior
Elisabeth...............Lotte Lehmann
Wolfram.................Julius Huehn
Venus...................Kerstin Thorborg
Hermann.................Norman Cordon
Walther.................John Carter
Heinrich................Anthony Marlowe
Biterolf................Arnold Gabor
Reinmar.................John Gurney
Shepherd................Maxine Stellman

Act I - Bacchanale
Ruthanna Boris, Monna Montes, Lillian Moore, Grant Mouradoff, George Chaffee [Last performance], Corps de Ballet
Three Graces: Beatrice Weinberger [Last performance], Doris Neal [Last performance], Ruth Harris [Last performance]

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

Director................Leopold Sachse
Set designer............Hans Kautsky
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert
Choreographer...........Boris Romanoff

Review of Mozelle Horton Young in the Atlanta Constitution

"Tannhäuser" Grand Climax To Met Season

Lehmann and Melchior Have Super-Excellent Supporting Cast

The grand climax of the 1940 opera season for Atlanta came in the magnificent performance of Wagner's "Tannhäuser" last night at the city auditorium. For the third night of the all-too-short season, the house was packed to overflowing, which means well over 5,000 people, and for the third night they dressed in their gayest and finest regalia.

The audience was in one accord, I believe, in agreeing that "Tannhäuser" was a superlative performance and was the finest presentation of the new season.

It brought a fitting climax to a glorious three-day feast of opera, after a 10-year starvation period, and the marvelous success of all three performances have certainly brought assurance to Atlantans that there will be more opera here in years to come.

Music Club Praised

To the Atlanta Music Club and its efficient corps of officers, headed by Mrs. Harold Cooledge as president, goes grateful thanks of the opera-loving public for their courage and civic-mindedness in underwriting the "revival" of the Met for Atlanta.

Their confidence in Atlanta's yearning for a return of spring season of Metropolitan was more than justified, as shown by the tremendous response, and they should feel wonderfully happy that they have been the cause of the return of so much artistic beauty to our city. And to the club's operatic manager, Marvin McDonald, goes a great big hand for the capable way he has managed the return of the opera.

"Tannhäuser" would have been a marvelous performance, even if it had had a lesser score than Wagner's great genius gave it, for the cast was one of super excellence.

Thorborg in Fine Voice

Kerstin Thorborg was the Venus, with a voice of unbelievable beauty. Adjectives fall short in describing her singing. She almost "stole the show" from the other singers with her glorious work in that first act.

Lauritz Melchior sang the title role, and it was so refreshing to hear a big, robust tenor, with plenty of power to send big climaxes resounding to the rafters, and a dramatic quality that gives you a real thrill.

Lehmann Is Beautiful

Lotte Lehmann was the beautiful Elisabeth - beautiful vocally, histrionically, and physically. She is a great artist with a lovely voice, and she knows how to use it to the best artistic advantage. Her arias "Dich, teure Halle" (in the scond act") and "Elisabeth's Gebet" (in the last act) will always be lasting memories of the opera.

Julius Huehn, the young American baritone who took Tibbett's place in the role of Wolfram, made a tremendously favorable impression with the rich beauty of his voice. He sang this difficult role with great distinction.

Another singer who gave Atlanta an unexpected thrill, because they had not realized such a fine voice was Norman Cordon, American bass, who sang the part of Landgraf Hermann, and John Gurney as Reinmar. Maxine Stellman was the cute and pleasing young shepherd.

Erich Leinsdorf, the young conductor about whom so much has been written, is a genius with the baton. To conduct any Wagnerian opera is a tremendous responsibility, but he conducted this work with master musicianship. He is, I consider, one of the greater prizes the Met possesses.

The orchestra did a magnificent job of playing this wonderfully orchestrated work, and Leinsdorf gave them full credit in two acknowledgements.

The chorus had ample opportunity in "Tannhäuser" to show its ability, and it did so with much credit.

The chorus "Hail! Bright Abode" in the second act and of course the familiar "Pilgrim's Chorus" were exquisite choral offerings.

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