[Met Performance] CID:240730
Siegfried {227}
Ring Cycle [85]
Metropolitan Opera House: 03/5/1975.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 5, 1975


SIEGFRIED {227}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [85]
Wagner-Wagner

Siegfried...............Jess Thomas
Brünnhilde..............Berit Lindholm
Wanderer................Thomas Stewart
Erda....................Maureen Forrester
Mime....................Ragnar Ulfung
Alberich................Marius Rintzler
Fafner..................John Macurdy
Forest Bird.............Betsy Norden

Conductor...............Sixten Ehrling

Director................Herbert Von Karajan
Staged by...............Wolfgang Weber
Set designer............Günther Schneider-Siemssen
Costume designer........George Wakhevitch

Siegfried received three performances this season.


Review of Donal Henahan in The New York Times

Opera's magnificent marathon continued Wednesday night at the Metropolitan with "Siegfried," the third work in Wagner's "Ring," and long before the evening ran out a weariness of voice and spirit had taken its toll. For this proved to be a "Siegfried" without a Siegfried, unless you will settle for Jess Thomas, who certainly looks every inch the blond Nordic hero but whose once impressive tenor voice has taken on a strenuous wobble that he attempts to counteract by barking.

It also had a Wanderer in Thomas Stewart who was, as in the previous "Ring" episodes, all dignity and bearing but without the corresponding vocal power and nobility to portray a Wotan in disguise. And, literally to finish matters off, there was Berit Lindholm as Brünnhilde, awakening at the end of the last act from her fire-ringed sleep and matching Mr. Thomas wobble for wobble for wobble until her final top note, which went hideously sour.

This kind of bad luck -if it may be overlooked as such - tends to afflict the Met's current efforts in behalf of the "Ring." But little more may realistically be expected from a cast so weak at the top, even when first-rate performances can be discovered in lesser places. Among the solidly satisfying Wagnerians this time was Ragnar Ulfung, a brilliantly nasty and yet somehow pitiable Mime. Mr. Ulfung, caricaturing a tenor's whine as only another tenor can, stole the first two acts....

Betsy Norden warbled prettily as the Forest Bird, John Macurdy thundered from a yawning pit as the dragon Fafner, Marius Rintzler offered an aptly brutish portrayal of Alberich and, as Erda, Maureen Forrester considerably improved on the weak debut appearance she had made in "Das Rheingold." This time the staging allowed Miss Forrester to come within shouting distance of the audience, and in spite of a faltering moment or two she made a fine overall impression.

Sixten Ehrling's conducting, on the whole competent but rarely rising to the big opportunities in this score, provided flickers of musical interest.... Miss Lindholm, who is blessed with a Met-filling dramatic soprano voice, plainly does not yet have it under her control, to say the least. At worst, it sounded as if it has already begun to show the wear and tear of an instrument that has been pushed too hard, too quickly. At this rate, the Swedish soprano is not going to be around very long.




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