[Met Performance] CID:3290
Tannhäuser {6} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/5/1885.

(Debut: Amalie Materna
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 5, 1885


TANNHÄUSER {6}

Tannhäuser..............Anton Schott
Elisabeth...............Amalie Materna [Debut]
Wolfram.................Adolf Robinson
Venus...................Anna Slach
Hermann.................Joseph Miller
Walther.................Walter Schüller
Heinrich................Otto Kemlitz
Biterolf................Alkuir Blum
Reinmar.................Ludwig Wolf
Shepherd................Anna Stern

Conductor...............Leopold Damrosch


Review by Henry Krehbiel, New York Tribune:

The entrance of Madame Amalia Materna on the operatic stage of this country was effected last night at the Metropolitan Opera House under circumstances which were most flattering to the lady and most significant in their bearing upon the operatic problems which the Metropolitan management this season engaged with. The incident was one which had been looked forward to with pleasurable anticipation ever since this eminent German dramatic artist sang here for the first time in May, 1882…Amidst the tumult of applause which greeted her entrance into the minstrel's hall in the second act, she began her song of greeting. In a moment her powerful and ringing voice had quieted the glad noise, and from then till the end of the act she had the attention of the audience to her artisitc creation rather than to her personality. At the close of the act, however, the listeners gave way to their desire to testify their pleasure at her coming, and she had repeatedly to come forward to acknowledge their tributes. Unfortunately, the presentation of the opera, as a whole, was not up to the standard fixed by Dr. Damrosch's artists earlier in the season. Herr Schott ws obvously under the weather; Herr Koegel could not sing and Herr Miller had a short notice to abandon the part of Biterolff into less capable hands and himself impersonate the Landgrave. Herr Schüller sang the part of Walter heretofore cared for by Herr Tiferro to the manifest improvement of the sextet and the contest of minstrelsy, because of the greater beauty of his voice, although his singing lacks breadth.


From the review of W. J. Henderson in The New York Times

The German soprano possesses a voice of uncommon richness and power, her delivery is broad and varied, and her temperament thoroughly artistic...as a vocalist pure and simple Mme. Schroder-Hanfsfängl, one of the prima donnas of the same company of which she is a member, is unquestionably her superior. Frau Materna, however, is far better equipped for the lyric drama of the period than any of her German or Italian contemporaries....We do not, however, consider the part of Elisabeth...as the artist's happiest effort....Frau Materna's passion and power must be pent up while she depicts the love, the grief, the piety, and the heart-broken sorrow of that tender creature....To say that Frau Materna sang her music most expressively, and gave to every line of the text its significance and to each of the... situations...its value, is, of course, to do the prima donna common justice....Frau Materna's voice was in good condition last night, although slightly tremulous. ...After the third act Frau Materna was called before the curtain again and again, and when she and her associates withdrew from sight each of them was laden with flowers.



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