[Met Performance] CID:260130
Lohengrin {569} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/10/1980.

(Debut: Siegfried Jerusalem, Daniel Smith
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 10, 1980


LOHENGRIN {569}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Siegfried Jerusalem [Debut]
Elsa....................Teresa Zylis-Gara
Ortrud..................Mignon Dunn
Telramund...............Donald McIntyre
King Heinrich...........Bonaldo Giaiotti
Herald..................Allan Monk
Gottfried...............Daniel Smith [Debut]
Noble...................Robert Goodloe
Noble...................Andrea Velis
Noble...................Philip Booth
Noble...................Charles Anthony

Conductor...............Giuseppe Patanè

Production..............August Everding
Stage Director..........Phebe Berkowitz
Set designer............Ming Cho Lee
Costume designer........Peter J. Hall
Lighting designer.......Gil Wechsler

Lohengrin received five performances this season.

Review of Patrick J. Smith in Opera (UK)

The revival of the 1976 production of "Lohengrin" (January 10) needed at least one more rehearsal, for there were notable co-ordination problems between pit and stage, some of the final scene's staging went awry, and the chorus sounded tired and tentative. August Everding's production (now under the guidance of Phebe Berkowitz) becomes even more dour and beside the point, weighing down the already heavy bulk of the opera.

Siegfried Jerusalem made his local debut as the Swan Knight. He has an effective, if stolidly used, lyric tenor, at present constricted in its top notes. He sang very carefully, avoiding any pressure on his top, and, though he managed a very good bridal chamber scene, this lack of freedom kept his Grail narrative earthbound. Teresa Zylis-Gara, as Elsa, has obviously worked on the part so that it develops as it continues, emerging as a convincing whole, and her singing had bite and a lovely creamy quality. For the rest, Allan Monk's bold and strongly sung Herald dominated. Past that lay the marshes of a growling and tremulous King Henry from Bonaldo Giaiotti, huddled in regal robes seemingly two sizes too large, a ferociously hectoring Telramund from Donald McIntyre - loudly nasty. brutish and short-ranged -- and an Ortrud from Mignon Dunn which exposed her reduced vocal state in its shrillness and in its reliance on outsized histrionics - a true Wild Witch of Brabant. Giuseppe Patané's conducting had moments of eloquence and real power, but needed more shaping and control.

Review of Byron Belt in the Newark Star Ledger

Met grandly revives a romantic 'Lohengrin'

In an era when great Wagnerian singing is pretty scarce, the Metropolitan Opera continues to offer some of its finest performances in the composer's imposingly difficult and grand music dramas.

"Lohengrin" is neither Wagner's nor the Met's best, but its restoration to the repertoire must be counted as a general success. The main strength is in the pit, where Italy's Giuseppe Patane reveals a strong affinity for the gorgeous orchestral writing, paces the long score judiciously and supports his singers without ever making them shout.

Ming Cho Lee's sets make good use of space and offer plenty of different levels for the imposing choral scenes, but they are hardly visually inspiring. Given the somewhat static nature of the drama, Phebe Berkowitz has taken August Everding's production and added some subtle movement that adds interest.

In the title role, Siegfried Jerusalem made an effective debut. His voice is not the largest or most beautiful, but it is much more than serviceable. The new tenor is that happy wonder - tall and slim. With Teresa Zylis-Gara a vocally and visually lovely Elsa, the romantic aspects of "Lohengrin" have rarely been stronger.

The drama gets pretty bogged down every time those clichés of evil - Ortrud and Telramund - are on stage, and neither Mignon Dunn nor Donald McIntyre was in best form, although the mezzo trumpeted some ringing top notes.

Allan Monk's Herald was splendid, and Bonaldo Giaotti's King Henry was a great improvement over his dismal performance last year. David Stivender's chorus was especially impressive in the male ensemble, and the entire performance had the essence, and much of the reality, of true grand opera:



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