[Met Performance] CID:189860
Das Rheingold {102} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/15/1962.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 15, 1962


DAS RHEINGOLD {102}

Wotan...................Jerome Hines
Fricka..................Irene Dalis
Alberich................Ralph Herbert
Loge....................Karl Liebl
Erda....................Jean Madeira
Fasolt..................Ernst Wiemann
Fafner..................Gottlob Frick
Freia...................Heidi Krall
Froh....................Robert Nagy
Donner..................Norman Mittelmann
Mime....................Paul Kuen
Woglinde................Martina Arroyo
Wellgunde...............Rosalind Elias
Flosshilde..............Mignon Dunn

Conductor...............Erich Leinsdorf

Review of Martin Bernheimer in the New York Herald Tribune

Final 'Rheingold" of Met Season; Hines Is Wotan

There was a new chief of the gods in the final "Rheingold" of the season last night at the Metropolitan. However, Jerome Hines, who undertook the assignment for the first time here, is no stranger to it. He sang the same role at Bayreuth last summer, and had done the "Walküre" Wotan at the Met in the previous seasons.

Ideally, the part calls for a Heldenbariton, that is, a gigantic baritone voice with a ringing top and a sturdy bass-like bottom. In other words, something close to a vocal freak. Mr. Hines does not exactly fill that bill; his sonorous bass is a bit strained in the upper reaches, and the Wagnerian orchestra swamps him on occasion. But, all things considered, he turned in an impressive performance - one that has matured considerably since its Bayreuth try-out.

Mr. Hines' physical height, vocal know-how and intelligence are natural assets as Wotan. There are still moments, to be sure, when he suggests a wholesome college athlete rather than the majestic ruler of a deity, and he has yet to give the text a maxiumum of nuance. But there was grandeur in the scene where he bought back Freia's freedom, terror in his rage with Alberich, and real poignancy in the crucial moment when he is hypnotized by the acquisition of the ring.

The rest of the cast was uneven. Irene Delis, however, offered a Fricka of extraordinary vocal finesse, and Robert Nagy made a junior Heldentenor of Froh. Norman Mittelmann, Karl Liebl, Paul Kuen, Ernst Wiemann, Gottlob Frick, Heidi Krall and Jean Madeira also reappeared in familiar roles, as did Ralph Herbert, a hoarse Alberich, and the Mmes. Arroyo, Elias and Dunn, the occasionally off-pitch Rhine-maiden trio. Erich Leinsdorf conducted an orderly performance that failed to reach any grand climaxes.



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