[Met Performance] CID:132140
Die Walküre {326} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/6/1941., Broadcast

(Debuts: Astrid Varnay, Mary Van Kirk, Maria Van Delden
Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 6, 1941 Matinee Broadcast


DIE WALKÜRE {326}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Helen Traubel
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Astrid Varnay [Debut]
Wotan...................Friedrich Schorr
Fricka..................Kerstin Thorborg
Hunding.................Alexander Kipnis
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Mary Van Kirk [Debut]
Helmwige................Maria Van Delden [Debut]
Ortlinde................Maxine Stellman
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Anna Kaskas
Siegrune................Helen Olheim
Waltraute...............Doris Doe

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

Director................Désiré Defrère
Set designer............Jonel Jorgulesco

Die Walküre received four performances this season.

[Helen Traubel's costume was designed by Marie Duryasz.]


Review by Noel Strauss, The New York Times

Astrid Varnay's name was not on the program, for she essayed Sieglinde's music at short notice, Miss Varnay, still in her twenties, made an instant success all the more remarkable considering the fact that this was her first appearance on any operatic stage. The exceedingly comely Swedish-American soprano acted with a skill and grace only possible to those with an inborn talent for the theatre. In fact, Sieglinde in Miss Varnay's hands was one of the most satisfying and convincing portrayals the season has brought forth.

Vocally, Miss Varnay was best suited to the music that lies high in its tessitura. As a result she did her most significant singing in the second and third acts, where her intense and dramatically poignant treatment of every phrase matched her acting in effectiveness and allure. In the first act much of the score was too low for her voice, which had not enough body to be audible in many a passage asking power in the middle and nether tones, where, too, the sounds were not always absolutely firm.

Miss Varnay is a valuable addition to the Metropolitan roster, but her fine abilities would be employed to much better purpose in roles making less heavy demands on her voice, a voice of such innate beauty that it should not be used in parts like this, which might easily impair its quality.



Rebroadcast on Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio

Photograph Astrid Varnay as Sieglinde by The New York Times Studio.
Photograph of Astrid Varnay backstage at her debut performance.
Photograph of Helen Traubel as Brünnhilde by J. Abresch.



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