[Met Performance] CID:139130
Das Rheingold {92}
Ring Cycle [76]
Metropolitan Opera House: 03/10/1945.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 10, 1945


DAS RHEINGOLD {92}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [76]

Wotan...................Herbert Janssen
Fricka..................Blanche Thebom
Alberich................Frederick Lechner
Loge....................John Garris
Erda....................Margaret Harshaw
Fasolt..................Nicola Moscona
Fafner..................Emanuel List
Freia...................Astrid Varnay
Froh....................Emery Darcy
Donner..................Osie Hawkins
Mime....................Karl Laufkötter
Woglinde................Thelma Votipka
Wellgunde...............Lucielle Browning
Flosshilde..............Martha Lipton

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

Review of Noel Straus in The New York Times

"RHEINGOLD" HEARD AT METROPOLITAN

BlancheThebom, Miss Varnay and Martha Lipton Make Debuts in Cast

The presentation of Wagner's "Das Rheingold" last night at the Metropolitan Opera House opened the annual Saturday evening series of "The Ring." Three of the members of the cast had not been heard before in the work. Blanche Thebom, appearing as Fricka, Astrid Varnay as Freia, and Martha Lipton as Flosshilde, for the first time. The rest of the personnel was identical with that of the earlier performance of the season, with George Szell again conducting.

Of the three young artists entrusted with roles new to them, Miss Thebom accomplished the most commendable singing. Though Fricka, like Freia and Flosshilde, has little chance in the introductory music drama of the cycle, a good deal can be done with the part, and vocally Miss Thebom made most of her opportunities tell.

With clear, firm tones she expressed the goddess' indignation at Wotan's pact and her solicitude for Freia's safety. But the voice was used with over-discretion and not permitted to soar forth with the full-bodied tones that marked her work in her two previous roles. Her acting was intelligent and dignified, but as yet she had not fully identified herself with the part, which demands more vividness and vital impact.

Miss Varnay was not in top form as Freia, her few brief outcries being uttered in pushed, shrill tones, but her portrayal was laudably simple and sympathetic. As for Miss Lipton, she was not well cast as Flosshilde, since she does not happen to possess a voice of the true contralto type needed to land the third Rhine Maiden's music the desired contrast to that of the other two. Moreover, her singing was too light in volume for this part.

The other participants on stage included Herbert Janssen as Wotan, Frederick Lechner as Alberich, John Garris as Loge, Karl Laufkötter as Mime, Osie Hawkins as Donner, Emanuel List as Fafner, Nicola Moscona as Fasolt, Emery Darcy as Froh, Margaret Harshaw as Erda, Thelma Votipka as Woglinde and Lucille Browning as Wellgunde. Since their work was detailed in the review on the previous performance and remained virtually the same, there is no need for further comment on it.



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