[Met Performance] CID:38450
Lohengrin {233} Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 01/8/1907.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
January 8, 1907


Lohengrin...............Carl Burrian
Elsa....................Emma Eames
Ortrud..................Louise Kirkby-Lunn
Telramund...............Anton Van Rooy
King Heinrich...........Robert Blass
Herald..................Adolph Mühlmann

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

Review (unsigned) in a Philadelphia newspaper (unidentified)


'Lohengrin,' With Eames and. Burrian in the Leading Roles.

For the sixth performance of the opera season, "Lohengrin" was given at the Academy Music last evening, with the reappearance of Emma Eames as the event of special interest. An audience which filled the house was warmly appreciative of what proved to be, altogether, an excellent presentation of Wagner's opera. While there was nothing unusual in the way of scenery, the costumes were new and noticeably handsome and a sufficiently large number of people was employed to give the scenes showing the arrival of Lohengrin and his departure, in the first and last acts, an impressive spectacular effect. There was splendor in the pageantry and a show of spirit and understanding in the stage management; even the swan looked life-like and glided in and out without a hitch, and in the climax to the first act Lohengrin and Elsa were lifted upon the shields of the Knights in a manner that showed real enthusiasm.

Eames is not new to the part of Elsa. Her interpretation is one of grace and beauty, and is not unsympathetic, even if it has no great warmth or deep pathos. It is an Elsa in which the personality of the singer is not effectually lost. Eames wears her own dark hair instead of the traditional blonde wig and, while her Elsa may he admired, it lacks that convincing quality which obscures the prima donna and gives living reality to the character. Vocally it is, of course, admirable, for the Eames voice with its clear, crystalline tones is capable of dramatic effect. It was well used most of the time last night, but there were moments when the upper tones sounded thin and reedy, particularly in the song from the balcony, "Ye Wandering Breezes," in the second act, and Eames is not always perfect in her attack of a high note. She was at her best in the bridal chamber scene and it was here, too, that the tenor, Burrian, was heard to the best advantage.

Burrian is not a particularly knightly Lohengrin, his face not being of exactly the right type and his form rather too rotund. His acting denotes ease and intelligence, however, and he succeeds in giving to the knightly preserver of the hapless Elsa a touch of genuine feeling of love for her and sorrow over the fatal curiosity which destroys their happiness. Burrian's voice has a good range and he can do what is technically required of it, but it is not sympathetic. It comes well up to the dramatic necessities, falling short when it is time for the heart to be touched.

A notable figure in last night's cast was Mme. Kirky-Lunn. who made her first appearance here with the Conried company, as Ortrud. Mme. Kirkby-Lunn's praiseworthy performance of Kundry in Mr. Savage's production of "Parsifal" is remembered, but her work last night was a new evidence of her talent. Her voice is a big, full, rich contralto, and she uses it with fine dramatic effect, her scene in the second act last night where Ortrud in a frenzy of hate, calls "Ye gods forsaken, grant me your vengeance!" being so well done as to call forth a well merited spontaneous burst of applause. She is a large, majestic woman of a presence suited to such roles as that of the vengeful Ortrud. Van Rooy was a fierce and powerful Frederick, his sonorous voice making a distinct impression, while Blass and Muhlmann showed their frequently recognized capability as Henry and the Herald, respectively.

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