[Met Performance] CID:278000
Lohengrin {574} Metropolitan Opera House: 09/24/1984.

(Opening Night {100}
Anthony A. Bliss, General Manager

Debuts: Melissa Fogarty, Elizabeth Rogers, Christian Collins
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
September 24, 1984
Opening Night {100}

Anthony A. Bliss, General Manager


LOHENGRIN {574}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Plácido Domingo
Elsa....................Anna Tomowa-Sintow
Ortrud..................Eva Marton
Telramund...............Franz Ferdinand Nentwig
King Heinrich...........Aage Haugland
Herald..................Brent Ellis
Gottfried...............Christian Collins [Debut]
Noble...................Charles Anthony
Noble...................John Gilmore
Noble...................John Darrenkamp
Noble...................Richard Vernon
Page....................Melissa Fogarty [Debut]
Page....................Elizabeth Rogers [Debut]
Page....................Charles Coleman
Page....................Matthew Dobkin
Page....................Douglas McDonnell
Page....................Richard Owen
Page....................Mark Rigby
Page....................Dana Watkins

Conductor...............James Levine

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

Lohengrin received seventeen performances this season.

Revival gift of the Estate of John Henry Von Hasseln


Review of Bill Zakariasen in the New York News:

The Metropolitan Opera audience began the opening night of the 1984-85 season Monday with an unusually robust rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." The company obliged by following up with a generally exciting performance of Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin."

In the completely new cast, chief focus was on Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, who sang his first Lohengrin (and his first German role) with the company. That he did so most admirably should have come as no surprise-this role has been very popular with Latin singers over the years, and besides, the knight Lohengrin's home base of Monsalvat is situated in Spain, anyway. At any rate, Domingo's silver-standard voice was in glorious estate from first note to last (and since when did we hear a Lohengrin who sang every note on pitch?), he shaped the phrases with masterfully
controlled ardor and elegance, while visually there was nothing whatsoever wanting in his noble carriage. Only a tendency to drop end consonants marred his work, but later performances should correct most of that.

As the unduly trusting Elsa (Lohengrin agrees to marry her on condition that she never asks his name or origin), soprano Anna Tomowa-Sintow appeared and sounded insecure at the outset, but she quickly recouped her resources in both departments-certainly in time to make her "Song to the Breezes" and her part in the Bridal Chamber scene memorable for lyric ease and dramatic veracity. Soprano Eva Marton, however, was simply sensational as the arch-villainess Ortrud; even when she wasn't singing, she dominated the stage with an awesome presence, and when she did! - well, the applause for her stupendously vocalized Act II invocation to
Wotan (not even James Levine's kinetic conducting could drown her out) literally brought the show to a halt.

Baritone Franz Ferdinand Nentwig sang sharp much of the time as Telramund and acted in bad silent movie fashion, bass Aage Haugland made King Heinrich sound like a tramp steamer, and baritone Brent Ellis was a vocally unfocused Herald. But the chorus (particularly the men) was at its rousing best, and though Levine's orchestra had its problems he led the score with full attention to its majesty and rapt lyricism.

By the way, there was a major change in the August Everding-Ming Cho Lee mounting - Lohengrin did not make his entrance and exit from the bullrushes downstage, but from upstage as in previous productions. Reportedly this was at Domingo's insistence - anyhow, it proves some old traditions still work magic.



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