[Met Performance] CID:143600
Siegfried {203} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 01/7/1947.

(Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 7, 1947


SIEGFRIED {203}

Siegfried...............Set Svanholm
Brünnhilde..............Astrid Varnay
Wanderer................Joel Berglund
Erda....................Margaret Harshaw
Mime....................John Garris
Alberich................Frederick Lechner
Fafner..................Dezsö Ernster
Forest Bird.............Mimi Benzell

Conductor...............Fritz Stiedry

Unsigned review in the Philadelphia Record

Set Svanholm in "Siegfried" At Academy

Last night's performance by the Metropolitan Opera Association at the Academy of Music brought to Philadelphia Richard Wagner's "Siegfried" for the first time since 1939. The postponement of this opera from second position this season was surely worth waiting for. It brought to this city for the first time the talents of Set Svanholm who appeared in the title role.

His work as Siegfried was characterized by youthfulness and capability in all respects, with particular emphasis on his vocal capacity. Naturally this part will suggest to present-day opera goers the name of Melchior, but last night definitely saw the debut of an equal.

Svanholm, referred to as child or boy so frequently by the supporting cast, looks the part. His voice has not the loudness of Melchior, and perhaps this is to his credit. However he is able to take the high "B's" without the seeming effort that others in the past have found either necessary or impressive to audiences.

Supporting Mr. Svanholm were two other male artists who likewise made their Philadelphia debut, Deszo Ernster as Fafner and Joel Berglund as the Wanderer.

Second honors of the evening should go to John Garris, who sang the part of Mime. His part, probably the longest, gave him opportunity to prove his dramatic and vocal prowess.

The part of Brünnhilde was sung by Astrid Varney. This was her first performance of the role and, though comparatively short, was certainly an auspicious debut.

The other members of the cast were Frederic Lechner as Alberich, Margaret Harshaw, formerly of Haverford, as Erda, and Mimi Benzell as the Voice of the Forest Bird.

The conductor of the evening was Fritz Stiedry who, in tune with the spirit of the evening, served for the first time in this position.



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