[Met Performance] CID:19630
Die Walküre {52} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/19/1898.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 19, 1898


DIE WALKÜRE {52}

Brünnhilde..............Lillian Nordica
Siegmund................Ernest Van Dyck
Sieglinde...............Emma Eames
Wotan...................Anton Van Rooy
Fricka..................Louise Meisslinger
Hunding.................Lempriere Pringle
Gerhilde................Maud Roudez
Grimgerde...............Minnie Molka-Kellogg
Helmwige................Olga Pevny
Ortlinde................Mathilde Bauermeister
Rossweisse..............Marthe Djella
Schwertleite............Katherine Fleming-Hinrichs
Siegrune................Eugenia Mantelli
Waltraute...............Louise Meisslinger

Conductor...............Franz Schalk

Review of W. J. Henderson in The New York Times


Wagner's "Die Walküire" was given for the second time at the Metropolitan Opera House last night. The advisability of presenting the dramas of the Nibelung cycle frequently before the promised performances of the cycle itself is not a matter for critical discussion, but it may be noted that these performances give the regular subscribers opportunities to hear these works. Last night's presentation of the second drama of the series was observed by a numerous and extremely enthusiastic audience. The only essential feature in which the evening's proceedings differed from those of the first performance of "Die Walküre" was in the substitution of Ernst Van Dyck for Andreas Dippel as Siegmund the Volsung. Mr. Van Dyck was to have sung the part last week, but was prevented from doing so by indisposition.

Mr. Van Dyck's performance of Siegmund last night was of the kind which the world used to accept in the days when it was vociferously misguided into the belief that Wagner's music could not be sung as other music was. The world has outlived that nonsense, and in these days only the few Germans, who still cling to the notion that Wagner invented what they are pleased to call the true Wagnerian style of declamation, believe that it is necessary to shout, bark, sputter or cough Wagner's music. Wagner knew as well as other sensible people that if he could have had his works properly sung he would not have had to fight for recognition all those weary years. Mr. Van Dyck has sung at Bayreuth, and is still regarded with high favor by that arrogant and pretentious old woman, Cosima Wagner, who has done more than any other twenty people in the world to injure her husband's fame. When people think that such work as he did last night was correct, they misconceive Wagner utterly. It is not necessary to sing Wagner's music just a fraction of a semitone off the pitch all the time. Neither is it necessary to shout the passages from the nose to the throat and make the tones sound like those of an xylophone.

Aside from his very bad singing, Mr. Van Dyck gave a proper interpretation to his rôle. He always acts admirably and he is interesting, in spite of his faults. The other members of the cast were the same as before-Mme. Nordica as Brünnhilde, Mme. Eames as Sieglinde, Mme. Meisslinger as Fricka, Anton Van Rooy as Wotan, and Mr. Pringle as Hunding. All of these repeated their admirable work of last week, but especial praise is due to Mme. Eames for her successful incursion into the field of Wagner's later works. Her Sieglinde is a genuine triumph for her and has revealed the possession, of unsuspected dramatic power and histrionic skill. Herr Schalk again conducted in his quiet and unemotional style.



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