[Met Performance] CID:53740
Die Walküre {150} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/28/1912.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 28, 1912


DIE WALKÜRE {150}

Brünnhilde..............Olive Fremstad
Siegmund................Carl Jörn
Sieglinde...............Berta Morena
Wotan...................Putnam Griswold
Fricka..................Louise Homer
Hunding.................Basil Ruysdael
Gerhilde................Lenora Sparkes
Grimgerde...............Henriette Wakefield
Helmwige................Rita Fornia
Ortlinde................Rosina Van Dyck
Rossweisse..............Inga Örner
Schwertleite............Mary Jungmann
Siegrune................Marie Mattfeld
Waltraute...............Florence Wickham

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

Unsigned review in the Evening Globe

"Die Walküre" With Fremstad as Brünnhilde

Memorable Features in an Uneven Performance in Which Mme. Fremstad Shines

At last, in the fourth and probably final, performance of "Die Walküre" this season, the Metropolitan management has seen fit to give the work with Mme. Fremstad as Brünnhilde. Thus the season will not bear the reproach of withholding the great artist as any one of the three Brünnhildes. But note, she has sung each of them just once this season, and never yet has she had the opportunity to develop her conception of the entire character through consecutive performances of the trilogy. Well, the Metropolitan has still new laurels it can gather without being at the trouble of importing strange singers and unheard of operas.

Of this Brünnhilde, which Mme. Fremstad added to her repertory but a little over a year ago, she gives a strongly individual impersonation. This was only her third performance of the part in New York, and in essentials it is not changed. The youthfulness of Brünnhilde is emphasized, high spirited, heroic youth, at first overflowing with joyousness, then profoundly appealing in its sorrow as tragedy remorselessly compasses her about. Her second scene with Wotan is incomparable in it filial solicitude and tenderness. Again she is the maiden goddess, remote, sublime, as she tells Siegmund his doom, but lovely in its humanity is the change through wonder and pity to the resolve to save. In the final act she is unique in the utter blankness of her despair.

Last night Mme. Fremstad was in splendid voice, and conquered the difficulties of the music with extraordinary ease. In fact her singing was of such tonal splendor, such expressiveness, and such perfection and nobility of style that, to use a hackneyed illustration, a blind man could not only revel in its beauty, but divine its drama as well. It may well be amiss to mention also two very tangible matters that aid materially in the success of an extraordinary impersonation, one a gift of the gods, the other of the dressmakers - a presence peculiarly adapted to this conception of the part, and a costume contrived with rare tact.

The Wotan was for a second time Putnam Griswold, whose resonant voice and skillful, carefully considered singing were most welcome. Mrs. Homer gave vigorous account of Fricka. Mr. Hertz's reading of the score was marked by breadth and eloquence, if at moments it was a little rude, a little cruel to the singers.

This was not all. There were matters that offer more food for debate. Was it well, for instance, that Mr. Jorn, as the sorely tried Siegmund, should carry vocal realism to the point of suggesting that he had been sleeping out of doors in the mist and the rain? Should Miss Morena, though succeeding admirable in sounding like a woman in distress, sacrifice the pitch to that dramatic ideal at so crucial a moment as her leave-taking of Brünnhilde? But these are matters on which doctors' theses might be based. Not so the vagaries of the Valkyr choir.

The audience was large and closely attentive. At the end of the second act there were many recalls, ending with three for Mme. Fremstad alone.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).