[Met Performance] CID:23050
Die Walküre {66} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/5/1900.

(Debut: Isabelle Bouton
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 5, 1900


DIE WALKÜRE {66}

Brünnhilde..............Lillian Nordica
Siegmund................Ernest Van Dyck
Sieglinde...............Susan Strong
Wotan...................Anton Van Rooy
Fricka..................Ernestine Schumann-Heink
Hunding.................Lempriere Pringle
Gerhilde................Marie Van Cauteren
Grimgerde...............Minnie Molka-Kellogg
Helmwige................Clémentine De Vere
Ortlinde................Mathilde Bauermeister
Rossweisse..............Eleanor Broadfoot
Schwertleite............Rosa Olitzka
Siegrune................Isabelle Bouton [Debut]
Waltraute...............Ernestine Schumann-Heink

Conductor...............Emil Paur

[The program lists Emilie Herzog as Helmwige. This was in fact a pseudonym sometimes used by Clémentine De Vere when she performed this role.]

Unsigned review in The New York Times (W. J. Henderson?)

"DIE WALKÜRE" ONCE MORE

The Second Drama of the Nibelung Series at the Metropolitan Last Night

Wagner's "Die Walküre" was brought forward at the Metropolitan Opera House last night for the first time this season. In spite of the appearance at the outer gates of placards announcing that Mme. Eames was ill and that her place would he taken by Susan Strong, the audience was a very large one. It was evident that not much money was returned on account of the change in the cast. This cannot be regarded as any evidence of lack el disappointment at the failure of Mme. Eames to appear, but rather as a proof, if one were needed, that when people go to hear a real music drama they are not easily discouraged. The potency of the Wagnerian drama as an attraction to the musical public of this city is beyond question, but it is none the less agreeable to note, in these days of operatic barrenness, that it continues to be great.

Last night's performance was an honor to the house. In its general spirit of sincerity it was worthy of the best German traditions. From the rise of the curtain to the final fall of it, artists, orchestra and conductor worked with a conscientious devotion to the purposes of the composer that was altogether lovely in itself and moving in its results. Again Mr. Paur distinguished himself by his work as an operatic conductor. He infused unwonted buoyancy and vigor into the performance and, if some of the climaxes were not as impressive as they could be, none was slighted, while the general reading of the score was marked by sympathetic insight and a nice adjustment of the instrumental forces. The orchestra did admirable work. The first oboe deserves especial mention for smooth and well-phrased cantabile and a good quality of tone. The horns were particularly good and the trumpets also did commendable work. The strings played very well indeed, and the ensemble was praiseworthy.

Upon such a substantial and inspiring stream of tone the artists were borne forward most happily. Mr. Ernst van Dyck made his first appearance this season. It is a pleasure to say that he never sang Siegmund here so well before. His vocal vices have not disappeared, but his declamation last night was more than ordinarily eloquent. His conception of the part is a just one and he conveys it clearly to the audience. Miss Strong's Sieglinde was much better than her Elsa. She has been well schooled in the part which she sang last night and throughout the evening she showed a clear understanding of the meaning of text and music. For this much she must be praised. There have been other interpreters of the role who had more womanly charm and a more fascinating quality of voice.

Mme. Nordica, who last Saturday night sang Leonora in "Il Trovatore," is the Brünnhilde. This fact in itself tells the result of years of sincere devotion to her art. Last night Mme. Nordica was in good voice and plainly pleased with her task. If her Leonora last Saturday was a conscientious piece of work, her Brüinnhilde last night was spontaneous and genial. She shows constant progress toward the high ideals which she cherishes, and her artistic stature increases from season to season. Mme. Schumann-Heink was once again a most effective Fricka.

Mr. Van Rooy made his first appearance this season in his familiar impersonation of Wotan. His big voice was in fine condition, and he had with him his unfailing skill in its management. Mr. Van Rooy is a prince among Wagner singers and his treatment of the wonderful third act of "Die Walküre" is masterly. If he brings out the human side of the god's character more than the godhood, he thus makes of Wotan a very sympathetic figure and it is a cold hearer who is not moved by the farewell scene. Mr. Pringle was a capable Hunding,and there was an acceptable choir of Valkyrs. The audience showed great interest in the performance, and there were many calls at the ends of the acts.


Unsigned review in the Brooklyn Eagle

"DIE WALKÜRE"

"Die Walküre" was sung in German at the Metropolitan Opera House last night for the first time this season. It was a notable occasion for the full strength of the opera company had been drawn upon. Only words of praise can be appropriately used for any criticism of the performance. Van Dyck had completely recovered from his recent indisposition, and his Siegmund was even beyond what had been expected. He has been seen in it here before, and while dramatically no unkind word could be spoken of it, the vocal production aroused some criticism. Last evening his voice was magnificently clear and resonant. Van Rooy's Wotan was another wonderful interpretation. His sonorous voice and the fine presence brought to the imagination an impression of the godlike, which became thoroughly human in the farewell scene of the last act. Nordica's Brünnhilde becomes more interesting each year. Under her steady striving after an ideal, the creation continues to grow. Last night she was in excellent voice and acted the part better than ever before. Miss Susan Strong, owing to the illness of Mme. Eames, appeared as Sieglinde. At times she seemed too placid and her voice, which is pure and well trained, was not always managed with discretion. Mme. Schumann-Heink's conception of Fricke was dignified and interesting and her singing was superb. Mr. Pringle made a very satisfactory Hunding and the Valkyrie was an exceptionally strong company of singers.

Much of the pleasure of the German operas is in the orchestra. Emil Paur, who led a few nights ago at the performance of "Lohengrin," was again in the leader's chair and showed a thorough sympathy with the score and an admirable control of the musicians.

The opera house was well filled and the audience was enthusiastic, applauding vigorously and bringing the singers before the curtain repeatedly.



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