[Met Performance] CID:25560
Lohengrin {162} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/31/1900.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 31, 1900


LOHENGRIN {162}

Lohengrin...............Jean de Reszke
Elsa....................Lillian Nordica
Ortrud..................Ernestine Schumann-Heink
Telramund...............Theodore Bertram
King Heinrich...........Edouard de Reszke
Herald..................Adolph Mühlmann

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


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


The experienced young gentlemen who sell the tickets of admittance to the performances at the Metropolitan Opera House fell into the habit of saying in the days before the season began that the real [first] night would be that on which Mr. Jean de Reszke made his reappearance. Mr. de Reszke did not visit these shores last winter, and the public got on without him as well as it could. But Mr. Grau thought that the gentleman's presence was necessary for the welfare of the enterprise this fall, and so engaged him again. Meanwhile Mr. de Reszke had been through a season of great tribulation in London, where he had vainly tried to keep his engagements while suffering from a severe attack of influenza, and had been rewarded by the world-wide publication of a story that he had lost his voice. Consequently, when he made his reappearance last night, he was greeted by an immense audience with every manifestation of pleasure and interest in his vocal welfare.

It was as the Schwannritter in Wagner's "Lohengrin" that the famous singer chose to renew his acquaintance with this public, and his first appearance, floating down the Scheldt in the shallop drawn by the property swan, was the signal for a burst of applause which was with difficulty stilled soon enough to permit his adieu to the bird of transportation to be heard. Those who are familiar with Mr. de Reszke's singing need not be told that his first measures are no demonstration of the state of his voice on any occasion. His voice is one which needs warming up. But last night, though suffering most palpably from nervousness, he sang the farewell with delicious beauty of tone and that consummate mastery of phrase and declamation which make every vocal utterance a delight. For the rest of the performance, Mr. de Reszke was, as he has been since he studied the role in German, an ideal Lohengrin. His performance has been so often described in these columns that it is unnecessary to recount its beauties now. The main question has been answered. The story that the greatest male singer of our time had reached the end of his career was proved to be untrue. In the course of nature he will not sing to us much longer, and we may for the present rejoice that he can still delight us.



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