[Met Performance] CID:25160
Lohengrin {155} Matinee ed. San Francisco, California: 11/24/1900.


San Francisco, California
November 24, 1900 Matinee


Lohengrin...............Ernest Van Dyck
Elsa....................Johanna Gadski
Ortrud..................Ernestine Schumann-Heink
Telramund...............David Bispham
King Heinrich...........Robert Blass
Herald..................Eugène Dufriche

Conductor...............Walter Damrosch

Review of Blanche Partington in the San Francisco Call


The audience record climbs higher and yet higher at the Grau grand opera performances. "Standing Room Only" yesterday afternoon it was, for nothing short of a thousand people who came to hear the magnificent performance of "Lohengrin" which Mr. Grau has given us once again to our eternal gratitude. Word has gone forth that the famous impresario will come again; that the season's joyous experience shall not be a solitary splendid memory to tell to wondering children as fairy tales are told. San Francisco has waked up.

The audience alone yesterday was an unforgettable show in itself, a living sea of faces from the footlights to the last available inch in the nigger heavenly aisles above. The atmosphere was electric with sympathy. As the great waves of harmony rolled over the footlights and caught the various loveliness of the orchestral setting on its all-entrancing sweep about the house, strangers clasped hands, proud women spoke to their neighbors - who might have been - heaven knows who - and caste and quarrels, sins and troubles were all forgot in the magic alchemy of the wizard Wagner and his interpreters.

The cast was identical with the first "Lohengrin" presentation, with the exception of Gadski instead of Nordica in the Elsa role. Blass in De Reszke's place and Dufriche as substitute for Muhlmann. It was difficult, indeed to compare the differing excellencies of Gadski's and Nordica's conceptions of the Brabantine princess. Gadski, with the tears and laughter in her voice, her eminent tenderness, her simple sweetness, was an Elsa lovely to the last degree. Nordica with her absolute certainly of touch, brilliance, noble accent, gave another Elsa of equal beauty - but let us thank the powers that be for both of them and beware of the odious comparison.

And Bispham and Schumann-Heink - the "female of his kind" as Jacques Miller, Whitman-fashion, put it - they simply raised the house by the splendor of their work. Everything human is in Schumann-Heink's voice - love, hate, the kiss, sneer, curse of Ortrud for Elsa, the woman's tenderness for Telramund, a magnificently vital voice.

For the rest everything went with its former grip and finish, and yet another link is added to the perfect chain of memories which these artists are weaving for our pleasure.

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