[Met Performance] CID:53100
Die Walküre {146}
Ring Cycle [40]
Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/8/1912.

(Debut: Mary Jungmann
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 8, 1912 Matinee



DIE WALKÜRE {146}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [40]
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Johanna Gadski
Siegmund................Heinrich Hensel
Sieglinde...............Berta Morena
Wotan...................Hermann Weil
Fricka..................Margarete Matzenauer
Hunding.................Basil Ruysdael
Gerhilde................Lenora Sparkes
Grimgerde...............Henriette Wakefield
Helmwige................Rita Fornia
Ortlinde................Rosina Van Dyck
Rossweisse..............Florence Wickham
Schwertleite............Mary Jungmann [Debut]
Siegrune................Marie Mattfeld
Waltraute...............Margarete Matzenauer

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

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

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

Die Walküre received six performances this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times (Richard Aldrich?)

"DIE WALKÜRE" SUNG AT METROPOLITAN

An Excellent Performance of Wagner's Music Drama in the "Ring" Cycle."

MR. HENSEL'S SIEGMUNG

He Appears For the First Time, as do Mr. Weil and Mme. Matzenauer - Mme. Gadski's Brünnhilde

The second performance in the cycle of "Der Ring des Nibelungen" at the Metropolitan Opera House fully maintained the high standard set by Mr. Hertz in that of "Das Rheingold," given last week. The public interest in the cycle was maintained and more time maintained, and there was a very large audience present. It was the first performance this season of "Die Walküre" and it was evident that much care and pains had been spent in obtaining one that should fully represent Wagner's purpose by presenting a completely rounded whole, with imposing and effective ensemble, imbued with dramatic vitality and continuity, carried along on an orchestral stream of potent eloquence and incessant shades of expression, and set in an effective and appropriate stage picture. The performance was, in fact, of unusual excellence, even in these days when the standard of Wagnerian interpretation is held so high at the Metropolitan, and especially the orchestral score, was raised to its highest power and significance in the whole, without thereby usurping more than its rightful place.

There were several new singers in the cast and some who have not recently been heard in "Die Walküre." They were all of an equal excellence. Mr. Heinrich Hensel, who recently made his first appearance here as Lohengrin, is a youthful and manly representative of Siegmund, hardly of the highest distinction as an actor, yet showing at many points a fine understanding of the character, its motive, and their interpretation. He was a disappointment in his singing, and especially in his style. He has a voice that might be effective but for the vices of its production and use, though it is rather small for this music, and in several places yesterday afternoon he fell considerably short of the pitch in his higher notes. Mr. Hermann Weil has done nothing better than his presentation of the part of Wotan since he first appeared with the company this season. His singing was more satisfactory than it has been in several respects, notably as to its steadiness of tone. In the vehement passages in which his anger against Brünnhilde finds expression at the beginning of the third act his voice lost somewhat in musical quality, but much of it was recovered in his delivery of his farewell. There have been more impressive and imposing Wotans, but Mr. Weil's has many qualities of excellence.

Mme. Matzenauer also appeared far the first time as Fricka; her noble, rich, and sonorous voice was never heard to better advantage, and her skill did much toward making her stormy interview with Wotan interesting and convincing. When he first appeared on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House last season Mr. Basil Ruysdael was in the part of Hunding in the first of the season's performances of "Die Walküre," which he did not again assume again in the season. His singing showed a remarkable improvement yesterday afternoon; the unsteadiness that marked it has, in large measure, disappeared and his voice is much freer in its production than it was upon that occasion. And especially notable was the excellence and clearness of his diction in which few of his companions equaled him. Mme Morena's Sieglinde is one of the most beautiful impersonations of the part that has been seen here-a most tender, passionate, and sympathetic one of plastic grace in figure and pose. There was beauty, too, in her singing. Mme. Gadski's Brünnhilde was one of the dominating features of the performance, for she has never shown more splendor, power, and dramatic eloquence in her singing and never a warmer or more spontaneous interpretation. The choir of the other Valkyries sang most admirably in the last act, with great vitality, and that stirring scene has seldom been set forth with more effectiveness.



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