[Met Performance] CID:167780
Tannhäuser {375} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/26/1955.

(Debut: Rudolf Kempe
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 26, 1955


TANNHÄUSER {375}
Wagner-Wagner

Tannhäuser..............Ramon Vinay
Elisabeth...............Margaret Harshaw
Wolfram.................George London
Venus...................Astrid Varnay
Hermann.................Jerome Hines
Walther.................Giulio Gari
Heinrich................Paul Franke
Biterolf................Clifford Harvuot
Reinmar.................Norman Scott
Shepherd................Heidi Krall

Conductor...............Rudolf Kempe [Debut]

Director................Herbert Graf
Designer................Rolf Gérard
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov

Tannhäuser received four performances this season.

Review of Douglas Watt in the Daily News

The Met orchestra never had it better. Night before last, Martin Rich, making his
conducting debut with "Manon," kept perfect order. Last night Rudolf Kempe, another German conductor (but, unlike Rich, a newcomer to these shores), made his local debut with a superb orchestral reading of the season's first "Tannhäuser."

Wagner's delightful score vibrated with life but never, in the pit, exceeded its natural boundaries. From the start of the overture, it was evident that Kempe knew exactly what he wanted, possessed the means to get it, and exercised fine control. He conducted with fire and balance, and at no point throughout the evening did the orchestra override the vocal score. His was an impressive achievement.

First-Rate Production

As all Wagner fans must know by now, this new "Tananhäuser," introduced last season, is a highly satisfactory production in all technical departments - staging, costuming, scenery and lighting. It is also well sung and acted - or was last night, at any rate.

Despite the curious effect Ramon Vinay's plaintive tenor voice invariably has on me, I found his hero appealing and intelligently sung and acted. 1 was disarmed most, however, by the work of three stalwarts - Margaret Harshaw, George London and Jerome Hines.

Miss Harshaw, as Elisabeth, was at the top of her vocal form; London was a distinguished Wolfram, in every respect, and Hines, in movement and song, brought great authority to the scene whenever he appeared as Landgraf Hermann. Giulio Gari was a satisfactory Walther, Astrid Varnay was an acceptable Venus, and Heidi Krall was such a pretty shepherd that I'm sure the sheep must have chased her home.



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