[Met Performance] CID:190510
Elektra {25} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/16/1962.

(Debut: Gerda Lammers
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 16, 1962


ELEKTRA {25}
R. Strauss-Hofmannsthal

Elektra.................Gerda Lammers [Debut]
Chrysothemis............Frances Yeend
Klytämnestra............Jean Madeira
Orest...................Walter Cassel
Aegisth.................Albert Da Costa
Overseer................Gloria Lind
Serving Woman...........Gladys Kriese
Serving Woman...........Helen Vanni
Serving Woman...........Margaret Roggero
Serving Woman...........Carlotta Ordassy
Serving Woman...........Teresa Stratas
Confidant...............Mary Fercana
Trainbearer.............Athena Vicos
Young Servant...........Robert Nagy
Old Servant.............Edward Ghazal
Guardian................Gerhard Pechner

Conductor...............Joseph Rosenstock

Director................Michael Manuel
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Lillian Gärtner Palmedo

Elektra received six performances this season.

Review of Bernard F. Raab in the April 1962 issue of Musical America

The first "Elektra" of the season brought Gerda Lammers to the Metropolitan for her American as well as Met debut. Miss Lammers has been a somewhat elusive figure with no one knowing much about her background in advance aside from the fact that she made a startling debut several years ago at Covent Garden in the same opera. She has made no recordings and published data concerning her appearances has been decidedly scarce.

It was therefore a musical adventure to be present at her debut, which was a major musical event of the season. Miss Lammers has a broad, but not big, voice, and her higher range can float over the orchestra with ease. It is, however, with the middle and low ranges that Miss Lammers has difficulty. Only when the orchestra was playing pianissimo could she really be heard. Her dramatic abilities are negligible and consist, in the main, of small movements to the right and left with her hands usually poised in a vampirish manner (a la Lugosi). Miss Yeend's costume suggested the purity of Chrysothemis but her voice and her poor German diction didn't. She was in good voice but the characterization was not there. Jean Madeira's Klytemnestra was highly melodramatic and the same action could have easily applied for her other specialties, Ulrica and Azucena. Miss Madeira was in excellent voice and sang the role with great conviction, drama and force.

Walter Cassel did his small role well as did Gerhard Pechner. Da Costa luckily had a minor part and Rosenstock overpowered his death scene, making many listeners that much more comfortable. Rosenstock again lifelessly conducted a Strauss opera, his tempi being too slow and drab. There is no conceivable reason why "Elektra" should have been conducted in such a manner and the fact that a national debut was being given further amplifies Rosenstock's negligence and/or lack of understanding. The few momentary brass problems did not negate the fact that the orchestra as a whole performed well above its usual level of mediocrity.



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