[Met Performance] CID:155890
Die Walküre {370}
Ring Cycle [79]
Metropolitan Opera House: 02/1/1951.

(Debut: Günther Treptow
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 1, 1951


DIE WALKÜRE {370}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [79]
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Helen Traubel
Siegmund................Günther Treptow [Debut]
Sieglinde...............Astrid Varnay
Wotan...................Ferdinand Frantz
Fricka..................Blanche Thebom
Hunding.................Luben Vichey
Gerhilde................Thelma Votipka
Grimgerde...............Martha Lipton
Helmwige................Regina Resnik
Ortlinde................Irene Jessner
Rossweisse..............Lucielle Browning
Schwertleite............Jean Madeira
Siegrune................Hertha Glaz
Waltraute...............Jeanne Palmer

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

Director................Herbert Graf
Set designer............Lee Simonson
Costume designer........Mary Percy Schenck
Lighting designer.......Lee Simonson

[Although this series of performances was not officially designated a Ring Cycle,
it was clearly understood to be one by management, the public, and the world's two
leading Wagnerian sopranos. each of whom dominated her own cycle.]

Die Walküre received two performances this season.

Review of Olin Downes in The New York Times

We do not know how many rehearsals had been given the first "Walkuere" of the season presented last night in the Metropolitan Opera House, but we had the delightful sensation of a fresh study of the opera, with new treatment of important scenic details and an interpretation that struck fire under the baton of Mr. Stiedry.

The debut of the evening was that of Gunther Treptow as Siegmund. He has a voice of warm and dramatic character, though his vocalization does not consistently release and focus the tone to the best advantage, Nor would we claim that Mr. Treptow is an original and distinguished actor.

But the cast was well coordinated, and Miss Traubel, always a fine musician and skilled vocalist, was unusually impressive in certain scenes of the second act. Her third act, and most important one, cannot be discussed here for the reason of the length and the lateness of that portion of the magnificent opera. The tenderness of her dialogue with Wotan narrating his woes and, above all, the eerie coloring of her tones when the Valkyrie confronts Siegmund and the orchestra chants softly of Walhalla and whispers of heavenly death, was something to study and remember.

Here too was fortunate lighting. For once the figure of the Valkyrie, whom no man may look upon and live, did have a strange and unearthly sheen in the darkness of the mountain glen. On the subject of lighting and stage business, it may be said that the battle in the clouds, with mortals and gods contending, was done more effectually than ever before in our experience at the Metropolitan.

Miss Varnay was in uncommonly good voice and of an appropriate figure and she communicated irresistibly the flight of the stricken Sieglinde in some of the most moving music that the whole Ring contains. Miss Thebom's Fricka is very well sung. If she could match the fine quality of her tones by an adequate histrionic representation of the furious goddess, her accomplishment would be complete.

Mr. Frantz's Wotan is admirably sung and enunciated. Mr. Vichegonov's Hunding was properly in the picture and resonantly proclaimed.. We say nothing of excessive and unnecessary pantomime in this scene, or of its eccentric scenery. Mr. Stiedry's orchestra was always eloquent,




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