[Met Performance] CID:138180
Die Walküre {339} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/14/1944.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 14, 1944


DIE WALKÜRE {339}

Brünnhilde..............Helen Traubel
Siegmund................Lauritz Melchior
Sieglinde...............Rose Bampton
Wotan...................Herbert Janssen
Fricka..................Blanche Thebom
Hunding.................Alexander Kipnis
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Martha Lipton
Helmwige................Maxine Stellman
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Anna Kaskas
Siegrune................Hertha Glaz
Waltraute...............Jeanne Palmer

Conductor...............Paul Breisach

Review of Noel Strauss in The New York Times

Blanche Thebom, young American mezzo-soprano, scored an immediate success at her debut appearance last night at the Metropolitan Opera House, where she was heard as the Fricka in the season's second performance of Wagner's "Die Walküre."
Her gifts as a vocalist were matched by her histrionic ability in a deeply impressive portrayal, projected with the poise of a veteran artist of the lyric stage.

There is nothing tentative in any aspect of her work, a fact all the more remarkable because she had sung in opera but once previously, her initial experience in this field being in the role of Brangaene at the Metropolitan presentation of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" two weeks ago in Philadelphia. Hitherto her chief activity in New York had been confined to a single recital given earlier in the year, which at once attracted attention to her uncommon talents.

Comely, magnetic, with regal bearing befitting the goddess she impersonated, Miss Thebom was a strikingly impressive figure as she swept on the scene in a handsome costume worthy of remark, since it was the first worn here in the part by any singer in recent years that did its share in lending the part the picturesqueness invariably associated with the role in former days. Miss Thebom has unusually expressive hands, and made every gesture and posture tell as she moved across the boards in her flowing, rust-colored mantle with its ornaments of dull gold, and from the start invested her performance with the visual, as well as the vocal and dramatic attributes, needed for complete conviction.

Born aptitude for the stage was evinced in the intensity and skill of the acting in a carefully considered and finely detailed interpretation which made Fricka something more than a mere shrew, and for once a sympathetic personality, while the difficult music assigned her was delivered in voluminous, rich tones, at their best when at the full in the middle register, but always steady, warm and true to pitch and deeply expressive.



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