[Met Performance] CID:36300
Götterdämmerung {56} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/22/1905.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 22, 1905


GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG {56}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Lillian Nordica
Siegfried...............Heinrich Knote
Gunther.................Adolph Mühlmann
Gutrune.................Marion Weed
Hagen...................Robert Blass
Waltraute...............Louise Homer
Woglinde................Bella Alten
Wellgunde...............Paula Ralph
Flosshilde..............Florence Mulford
Vassal..................Julius Bayer

Conductor...............Alfred Hertz

Director................Jacques Goldberg
Set Designer............Max Brückner

Götterdämmerung received four performances this season.

Review (unsigned) in a New York newspaper (unidentified)

'GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG' GIVEN AT THE OPERA

First Performance This Season of the Last Ring Opera

MR. KNOTE AS SIEGFRIED

His First Appearance as the Hero - Mme. Nordica's Fine Performance as Brünnhilde

The Subscribers to the regular subscription nights of the Opera are getting their Wagner this season in due course. Last evening the Friday night subscribers were given "Götterdämmerung" which came to them after the recent performances of "Die Walküre" and "Siegfried." It was the first performance this season of the last drama, and the climax of the "Ring" trilogy, and it was notable as effecting the first appearance in New York of Mr. Knote as the elder Siegfried. The performance in other respects was like that of last season, with Mme. Nordica as Brünnhilde, Miss Weed as Gurtrune, Mme. Horner as Waltraute, Mr. Blass as Hagen, and Mr. Mühlmann as Gunther.

Mr. Knote's Siegfried is a highly intelligent and well-conceived characterization, as is most that he does. It is vigorous, well-balanced, and virile in its outlines. He must suffer in a part that makes so exacting demands upon the voice as this from the fact that he is pre-eminently a lyric tenor, and that the epic breadth of the part is more than he can compass without an obvious and sustained effort. It was evident that he had to demand of his voice almost constantly all that it could give; and in giving it, it lost in color, in plasticity, and depth of quality. It took on the metallic and pinched sound that has so disturbed Mr. Knote's admirers, remembering this year the beauty and poetry of his voice a year ago. Mr. Knote suffered unquestionably, as did his companions in the cast, from the excessive sonorities that Mr. Hertz let loose in the orchestra, and that covered the voices, giving them more to contend against than most voices, and requiring of them, especially such a one as Mr. Knote's, more than they can overcome. It was often an intolerable handicap. Apart from this, however, Mr. Knote's elder Siegfried, while it has much that is admirable, cannot rank with the impersonation he gives of Siegfried the boy.

Mme. Nordica's impersonation of Brünnhilde will always have many admirers because of its intelligence and the thorough comprehension it shows of this most imposing, most impressive, most deeply tragic character. It has passion, grandeur, and tragic poise. It has not the elemental power, the irresistibly moving qualities that have been exhibited here in the past in this part. It is rather a product of study and reflection than of the irresistible impulse of a profoundly dramatic nature; in voice it was superb last evening, for Mme. Nordica poured forth her tones in unstinted measure and gave her singing the true accent of dramatic intensity.

Mme. Homer sings the music of Waltraute, in the exceedingly impressive scene, with Brünnhilde in the first act with beautiful richness of tone and admirable gesturing. It could not be said, however, that she has as yet penetrated to the intense dramatic significance of the scene, or, if she has discovered it, that she is able to produce it - a pity, indeed, for Mme. Homer sings the music as few have sung it.

Mr. Herz conducted with much energy. He hurried the tempos here and there, as in that most broad and impressive wedding music when Brünnhilde is brought to the hall of the Gebildung by Gunther, and in several other places.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).