[Met Performance] CID:132720
Tannhäuser {328} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/23/1942.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 23, 1942


TANNHÄUSER {328}

Tannhäuser..............Lauritz Melchior
Elisabeth...............Astrid Varnay
Wolfram.................Herbert Janssen
Venus...................Kerstin Thorborg
Hermann.................Alexander Kipnis
Walther.................John Carter
Heinrich................Emery Darcy
Biterolf................Arthur Kent
Reinmar.................John Gurney
Shepherd................Maxine Stellman
Dance...................Ruthanna Boris
Dance...................Monna Montes
Dance...................Lillian Moore
Dance...................Michael Arshansky
Dance...................Alexis Dolinoff
Dance...................Alexis Kosloff
Dance...................Leon Varkas

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

Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Varnay Sings Elisabeth

Astrid Varnay sang the fourth important Wagnerian role of her first season in opera when she appeared as Elisabeth in the season's third representation of "Tannhäuser" on Jan. 23 in the evening. The young soprano had been well prepared and she went her youthful way with poise and assurance. Save for some uncertainties of pitch in her entering "Dich teure Halle" and in the ensuing scene with Tannhäuser, her singing was that of a high level of competence. Though her voice at present is not one of heroic weight or resonance, she was able to cope successfully with her part of the taxing second-act finale. Her tones were particularly fresh and appealing in Elisabeth's plea for Tannhäuser's life. Her most effective singing, however, was in the last-act prayer, which was vocally admirable and warmly expressive. Hers was a surprisingly detailed impersonation, in which her acting was marked by intelligence and good taste rather than by anything individual, spontaneous or particularly imaginative. The others were familiar interpreters of familiar roles. Lauritz Melchior again sang Tannhäuser. Kerstin Thorborg. substituting for Karin Branzell, reappeared as Venus. Herbert Janssen was the Wolfram, Alexander Kipnis the Landgraf and Maxine Stellman the Shepherd. The lesser bards were embodied by John Carter, Arthur Kent, Emery Darcy and John Gurney. The performance was a spirited one and well coordinated under the leadership of Erich Leinsdorf as conductor and Leopold Sachse as stage director.



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