[Met Performance] CID:139660
Die Walküre {343} Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 04/27/1945.

(Review)


Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 27, 1945


DIE WALKÜRE {343}

Brünnhilde..............Helen Traubel
Siegmund................Emery Darcy
Sieglinde...............Astrid Varnay
Wotan...................Osie Hawkins
Fricka..................Blanche Thebom
Hunding.................Emanuel List
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Doris Doe
Helmwige................Maxine Stellman
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Margaret Harshaw
Siegrune................Thelma Altman
Waltraute...............Jeanne Palmer

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

Review of Frances Boardman in the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Singing of 'Die Walkuere' Praised Highly

The array of singers assembled by the Metropolitan Opera company to sing "Die Walkuere" Friday night in Northrop auditorium would do credit to any Wagnerian enterprise anywhere. Under Paul Breisach's season direction they brought the score alive in the clear, ringing, affirmative tonalities it must have to carry full conviction.

Helen Traubel's singing of Brünnhilde's role was variously the cry of the Valkr riding the heavens, and the tender expression of eternal femininity; smooth and even in quality, and never forced, it still has the three-dimensional body needed to sustain it through the musical demands and vicissitudes of a long test. She is a great asset to the institution.

So is Emery Darcy, whose Siegmund showed plainly what his place is among the true Wagnerian Heldentenoren. Helped by the ideal physique for such roles, his voice is evenly resonated throughout the scale, and projected without resort to pressure for dynamic effect. The Sieglinde of Astrid Varnay was still another proof that the company's resources are in fine shape for this important department of the lyric stage. She is a handsome young woman, whose dramatic soprano is of lovely quality and well coordinated with the expressional needs of the given moment.

Another memorable characterization was contributed by Blanche Thebom, the young mezzo-soprano who sang Fricka, probably the most severely sell-righteous of all Wagnerian femininity. Her fine singing was implemented by a sense of pictorial values that materialized in poses and gestures with all the austere simplicity of an Egyptian silhouette.

Hunding was done by the commanding Emanuel List with all the respect for tradition that might be expected in view of his background, and Wotan's role was sung with noticeable vocal ease by Osie Hawkins. And for those who would like the Valkyrs identified by name, here they are: Thelma Votipka, Maxine Stellman, Irene Jessner, Lucielle Browning, Doris Doe, Jeanne Palmer, Thelma Altman and Margaret Harshaw, all of whom deserved the applause they drew.

Many persons in the audience must, I think, have shared a feeling of something like emancipation upon hearing this great music at the moment in history when it is being finally cleansed of the stain left by Nazi appropriation of Wagner's music as its own true spiritual expression. It was apparent from the first that this was all part of the great noisy, pompous act, but even the most artificial contact with the bloody hand of the Fuehrer is enough to leave a stigma, and it was hard not to feel unreasonable though such an attitude might be, that something very precious had been badly soiled.

But this music, in all its wonder and irresistible appeal, has survived the brief period of spiritual eclipse, and seems more amazing than ever. Friday evening was really unforgettable.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).