[Met Performance] CID:39010
Die Walküre {115} Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 02/26/1907.

(Debut: Paula Wöhning
Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
February 26, 1907


DIE WALKÜRE {115}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Johanna Gadski
Siegmund................Alois Burgstaller
Sieglinde...............Olive Fremstad
Wotan...................Otto Goritz
Fricka..................Louise Kirkby-Lunn
Hunding.................Robert Blass
Gerhilde................Bella Alten
Grimgerde...............Johanna Pöhlmann
Helmwige................Lucy Lee Call
Ortlinde................Paula Ralph
Rossweisse..............Josephine Jacoby
Schwertleite............Paula Wöhning [Debut]
Siegrune................Marie Mattfeld
Waltraute...............Marion Weed

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

Director................Anton Schertel
Set Designer............Max Brückner
Set Designer............Obronsky, Impekoven & Co.

Die Walküre received three performances this season.

[Company records suggest Brückner designed the set for Act II.]

Review (unsigned) in an unidentified Philadelphia newspaper

Last night's performance of "Die Walküre."

With a cast equal to its exacting requirements, "Die Walküre," invariably proves one of the most popular of the heavier Wagnerian operas and is, perhaps, of those composing the Trilogy, the best adapted for a separate performance. Its presentation at the Academy of Music last night with Gadski, Fremstad, Burgstaller, Kirkby-Lunn, Blass and Goritz in the leading roles, was therefore one of individual merit and combined excellences.

Gadski appeared for the second time this season, and her Brünnhilde, as in the past, won admiration for dignity, sympathetic feeling and vocal purity. Her voice was in good condition last night, and much of the old-time richness of tone, volume and dramatic spirit were evident in her singing. The Sieglinde of Fremstad was also satisfying as a vocal effort, as her mezzo soprano has the fullness and sympathetic quality required by the role, and her ability as an actress makes it unusually effective on the dramatic side. There were moments when Fremstad was inclined to overact, but her zeal was not often misplaced. Kirkby-Lunn's commanding presence and powerful contralto, which she has under good control, made the fiery Fricka an interesting figure, and the concourse of Valkyrie maidens had sufficient spirit to enliven their one scene, even if some of the opera-school voices were scarcely equal to the music.

Burgstaller started off, as Siegmund, by singing beautifully in the first scene, but was a trifle disappointing in the love song. His voice had a trace of roughness at times, and was occasionally forced, but he has a fine presence and is personally equal to an idealization of the part. Goritz was called upon at short notice to replace Van Rooy as Wotan and, considering that he also had a cold sufficiently severe to cause a request before the curtain that his short-comings be overlooked, acquitted himself with credit. Goritz's Wotan is tame compared to Van Rooy's, at its best less impressive vocally and in person, but it was not without dignity and was also well sung, with rich bass tones that were not noticeably lacking in any essential quality. Blass repeated his familiar interpretation of Hunding, always sonorous of voice and ferociously solemn in makeup and action. Hertz conducted, and for once gave the singers a fair show, keeping the orchestra down when the voices had a right to be heard, but by no means slighting the big effects, which were brought out with splendid power. The mounting of the opera was noticeably good with new scenery for all three acts.



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