[Met Performance] CID:138730
Das Rheingold {91}
Ring Cycle [75] Uncut
. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/2/1945.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 2, 1945


DAS RHEINGOLD {91}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [75] Uncut
Wagner-Wagner

Wotan...................Herbert Janssen
Fricka..................Kerstin Thorborg
Alberich................Frederick Lechner
Loge....................John Garris
Erda....................Margaret Harshaw
Fasolt..................Nicola Moscona
Fafner..................Emanuel List
Freia...................Jarmila Novotna
Froh....................Emery Darcy
Donner..................William Hargrave
Mime....................Karl Laufkötter
Woglinde................Thelma Votipka
Wellgunde...............Lucielle Browning
Flosshilde..............Hertha Glaz

Conductor...............George Szell

Director................Lothar Wallerstein
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Das Rheingold received two performances this season.

Review of Robert Bagar in the World-Telegram

Met Opens Wagnerian Cycle

The first opera in this season's Wagnerian Cycle, "Das Rheingold," was given before a large audience at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. With due gesture and flourish, if not out and out pomp, we were introduced to some supernatural unfortunates who people Wagner's make-believe world. The humans come into it later, beginning with "Die Walküre." And the humans win out in the end.

The performance, under the brilliant conducting of Georg Szell, was done to an artistic turn. Mr. Szell painted a huge canvas, with the colors and subjects lent him by Wagner, and he made it a lifelike, realistic thing of poetry and musical worth.

In accomplishing this, Mr. Szell had almost unlimited cooperation from a beautifully balanced group of artists, each of whom was completely immersed in his (or her) part. The singing was all intelligent and it communicated much.

The dramatic quality of "Das Rheinglold's" libretto has rarely been so compellingly expressed in recent times hereabouts as it was last night. These were not remote, fantasial beings who passed in review before us, but flesh-and-blood creatures, some likeable, some hateful, and all put through their assigned conflicts and pleasures in masterful fashion.

The Wotan of Herbert Janssen had majesty and - quite appropriately - the aura of frustration to come. Mr. Janssen sang his lines with considerable meaning, astutely avoiding the explosive type of vocalism. It was good to hear a liquid line, singing that had something of a bel canto finish.

Kerstin Thorborg, as Fricka, gave again a splendidly planned impersonation of the First Lady of Valhalla. Her acting was a perfect study in significant restraint, and she made the most of every note. John Garris who supplied the Loge did some very fine portraiture on his own count. The Fire-God was evil and shifty and planning and always subtle in Mr. Garris' hands - in the palms of his hands.

Nor may one omit Frederick Lechner's baleful, at time pitiable, Alberich, an Alberich who could, on occasion, stand up to the Wotan-Loge axis quite courageously at that. Karl Laufkötter's Mime, Emery Darcy's Froh, William Hargrave's Donner, Nicola Moscona's Fasolt, Emanuel List's Fafner, Jarmila Novotna's lovely Freia, Thelma Votipka's Woglinde, Lucielle Browning's Wellgunde, Herta Glaz's Flosshilde were all in the spirit of the proceedings. Margaret Harshaw sang the Erda in resonant and attractive tones for the most part.


The Metropolitan is to be congratulated for a performance that was polished and adult and altogether enjoyable.



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