[Met Performance] CID:143450
Lohengrin {470} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/26/1946.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 26, 1946


LOHENGRIN {470}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Torsten Ralf
Elsa....................Astrid Varnay
Ortrud..................Margaret Harshaw
Telramund...............Herbert Janssen
King Heinrich...........Dezs÷ Ernster
Herald..................Mack Harrell

Conductor...............Fritz Busch

Director................Dino Yannopoulos
Designer................Joseph Urban

Lohengrin received ten performances this season.

Review of Harold C. Schonberg in the Sun

"LOHENGRIN" GIVEN WITH VARNAY, RALF

The first "Lohengrin" of the season, at the Metropolitan Opera House last night, was a smooth performance, competently sung and acted. The one really discordant note was sounded literally - by the four stage trumpeters, whose instruments apparently had ideas of their own. Otherwise, all proceeded in a business-like manner, with Fritz Busch moving things smartly along and even eliciting some satisfactory results from the chorus.

Astrid Varney, as Elsa, was much more convincing than in her recent Sieglinde. Her voice fits the role well, and she acts with dignity and restraint. Except for a few high notes, her voice sounded fresh and was projected with assurance.

As Lohengrin, Torsten Ralf is at his best. Vocally the part does not tax him as several others he has undertaken here. His singing was free and unforced, with a true lyric quality and enough power for the climaxes. Herbert Janssen's Telramund was a worthy foil, smoothly and resonantly sung, acted with a proper touch of bull-headed obstinacy that this by no means bright conniver should possess. The combination pushing and pulling match that passes for the duel in the first act was not nearly as ludicrous as it sometimes has been.

Deszo Ernster was heard for the first time as King Henry and Margaret Harshaw made her first appearance as Ortrud. Ernster owns a superb voice, though it is hampered by a tremolo that is especially obtrusive in the lower register. Harshaw's voice is one of considerable amplitude, somewhat less finesse, and intonation that has a habit of going slightly off. Her conception of the part is traditional enough, magnificent in gesture though hardly subtle as yet. Mack Harrell was the Herald singing in his customary steady manner.



Photograph of Margaret Harshaw as Ortrud by James Abresch.



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