[Met Performance] CID:140480
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {238} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/9/1946.

(Debut: Joel Berglund
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 9, 1946


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {238}

Hans Sachs..............Joel Berglund [Debut]
Eva.....................Eleanor Steber
Walther von Stolzing....Charles Kullman
Magdalene...............Kerstin Thorborg
David...................Karl Laufkötter
Beckmesser..............Gerhard Pechner
Pogner..................Emanuel List
Kothner.................Kenneth Schon
Vogelgesang.............Anthony Marlowe
Nachtigall..............Hugh Thompson
Ortel...................Osie Hawkins
Zorn....................Richard Manning
Moser...................Lodovico Oliviero
Eisslinger..............Emery Darcy
Foltz...................Lorenzo Alvary
Schwarz.................Wellington Ezekiel
Night Watchman..........George Cehanovsky

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

Review of Irving Kolodin in The New York Sun

It has always seemed optimistic of Wagner to have called his opera by the plural title, cosidered the variety of performers required for its long list of parts. Last night's presentation at the Metropolitan produced one singer honestly entitled to membership in the guild, that being the new Swedish baritone, Joel Berglund. This was something of a second debut for Berglund (he sang here in 1938, though not at the Metropolitan) who accomplished a Sachs more heart-warming and ear-filling than any we have had since Friedrich Schorr had his last good night.

Schorr's laurels are still quite secure, for it is sufficient to indorse Berglund as a singer with a pliant, colorful, and resonant voice, with adequate range for the part and enough artistry to absorb the interest throughout. His Sachs is pre-eminently a philosopher, rather than the poet that some performers see in him, or the ardent swain of Eva (who finally acts his age) that others conceive him to be. However, there was real pathos in his rejection of Eva's bid for his more than friendly interest when she thinks it is her fate to become Frau Beckmesser, and much tenderness in his manipulation of the romance to its happy fulfillment.

No doubt there will be future performances in which his playing can be further documented (let us hope that one will soon be with his countryman Torsten Ralf as Walter). It may be mentioned, however, that his "Verachtet mir die Meister nicht," could be understood clearly at the back of the house, and there were promising touches of humor that may be expanded when the rigors of a debut are out of the way.

The success of the evening was otherwise mostly due to the conducting of George Szell, who handled a somewhat higgledy-piggledy cast with constant energy and resilience.



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