[Met Performance] CID:53350
Die Walküre {147} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/26/1912.

(Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 26, 1912


DIE WALKÜRE {147}

Brünnhilde..............Margarete Matzenauer
Siegmund................Carl Burrian
Sieglinde...............Berta Morena
Wotan...................Hermann Weil
Fricka..................Louise Homer
Hunding.................Basil Ruysdael
Gerhilde................Lenora Sparkes
Grimgerde...............Henriette Wakefield
Helmwige................Rita Fornia
Ortlinde................Rosina Van Dyck
Rossweisse..............Florence Wickham
Schwertleite............Mary Jungmann
Siegrune................Marie Mattfeld
Waltraute...............Louise Homer

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


Review of Charles Henry Meltzer in the American

MATZENAUER IS AN HEROIC VALKYR

Versatile Singer Makes Deep Impression in the Role of Brünnhilde

This has emphatically been a Matzenauer season at the Metropolitan.

Out of the Munich Opera House she came three months ago, a most unheralded, yet one of the most admirable artists ever known here. With hardly an exception, every part in which Margarete Matzenauer has been heard since then has done her honor. In turn she has been Amneris, Ortrud, La Cieca, Kundry, Fricka, Erda, Orfeo. Last night, she appeared for the first time as the Brünnhilde of "Die Walküre," and once more she conquered.

Never, perhaps, has a more impressive Valkyr come to Wotan than Mme. Matzenauer seems. Her stately form was clad in gray and steel. She waved her spear as to the manner born. Her voice rang out with wild and splendid force in the "Ho-yo-to-ho" cry, though it was not without an effort that she reached her topmost note. The picture she presented was heroic. To see this Brünnhilde as one of Wotan's messengers, striding the blast, was not quite easy. But one could easily imagine her bending over the bodies of dead heroes.

When she warned Siegmund in the second act, she brought doom with her. And she expressed that doom with tenderness and gravity. Her tones were slightly hard and lacked the soprano quality. Apart from this she made a glorious heroine, contenting to the eye, the ear, the mind. Above all else, the mind. For Mme. Matzenauer is nothing if not intelligent. Last and not least, as Brünnhilde she was intelligible, thanks to her pure and clear enunciation.

Berta Morena, the Sieglinde, in the cast, was not quite at her best. Yet she put love and music into her earlier scenes with Siegmund and rhapsody into the last episode of the [first] act. Louise Homer is less suited to Fricka than to more sympathetic characters like Brangäne and Orfeo. A touch of shrewishness seems proper in this spouse of Wotan, and Mme. Homer hardly "looked the part" last night.

Hermann Weil was, for the second time this season, the great, henpecked lord of Walhall. Basil Ruysdael, who has been making progress of late, repeated his excellent interpretation of Hunding. To give power and poetry to the music Alfred Hertz directed the performance, which was enjoyed by a large house.


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

A NEW BRÜNNHILDE.

Mme. Matzenauer Takes the Part in "Die Walküre" for First Time Here

A performance of "Die Walküre" was given for the benefit of the Monday night subscribers at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday, in which they heard a new Brünnhilde. Mme. Matzenauer appeared in that part for the first time in New York, and in many respects was strikingly successful. She has done nothing here, in fact, in which she has not shown herself an artist of exceptional and commanding powers. There might have been properly a question whether a singer whose voice is so nearly a well-defined contralto as Mme. Matzenauer's were able to sing the music of this part, which in certain portions mounts to the range of a true soprano. She made it clear, however, that she could compass the music, albeit not without something of effort.

The crux of this matter, of course, was the electrifying cry of "Ho-jo-to-ho," with which the divine maiden makes her appearance at the beginning of the second act. This Mme. Matzenauer delivered with plenty of power, but with something of heaviness. Nothing could have been finer, however, than her singing of the solemn notification to Siegmund of the approaching death - a passage in which was heard all the nobility and beauty of her voice, all the sustained phrasing, all the eloquence of diction that she ommands. She was fine also in the last scene of the third act with Wotan. Such passages showed Mme. Matzenauer's finest powers and most consummate art. Her performance on the whole must be set down as an unusually fine one, one proper to enhance the esteem which the admirable artist has won here this season.

The others concerned in the performance were those who appeared recently in "Die Walküre," except that Mme. Homer retuned to her rôle of Fricka, and sang it with great beauty of tone. Mr. Burrian, who was the Siegmund, was said to be appearing for the last time this season at the Metropolitan Opera house. Mme. Morena as Sieglinde, Mr. Weil as Wotan (who appeared a little later in the fight between Hunding and Siegmund) and Mr. Ruysdael as Hunding, were the other chief members of the cast. Mr. Hertz conducted. There was plenty of strenuous energy and vigor in the orchestral performance, but not quite so much beauty of finish as one some previous occasions this season. The audience showed an unusual interest and at the close of the second act great enthusiasm.
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