[Met Performance] CID:5490
Lohengrin {35} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/15/1886.

(Debut: Julius Meyer, Jean Doré
Review
)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 15, 1886


LOHENGRIN {35}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Albert Niemann
Elsa....................Therese Herbert-Förster
Ortrud..................Marianne Brandt
Telramund...............Wilhelm Basch
King Heinrich...........Georg Sieglitz
Herald..................Max Heinrich
Noble...................Otto Kemlitz
Noble...................Julius Meyer [Debut]
Noble...................Jean Doré [Debut]
Noble...................Emil Sänger

Conductor...............Anton Seidl

Director................Mr. Van Hell
Set Designer............Charles Fox, Jr.
Set Designer............William Schaeffer
Set Designer............Gaspar Maeder
Set Designer............Mr. Thompson
Costume Designer........D. Ascoli
Costume Designer........Henry Dazian

Lohengrin received four performances this season.

Review in The New York Times (probably W. J. Henderson):

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Two performances of notable excellence distinguished last evening's revival of "Lohengrin" at the Metropolitan Opera House. One was Fräulein Brandt's representation of Ortrud, and the other Herr Niemann's portrayal of Lohengrin. Fräulein Brandt's Ortrud, in truth, was beheld and praised previous to yesterday's production of Wagner's best known opera, but on the occasion under notice it stood forth with somewhat uncommon sharpness of outline and distinctness of detail. As a histrionic effort - and the lyric importance of the personage is, as to effect, not very marked-- it is unquestionably one of the most vivid and elaborate of delineations. No one who has watched Fräulein Brandt's facial eloquence and by-play during the protracted and trying first act of "Lohengrin," noted the sustained powers of expression with which she conveys to the spectator the varying emotions of the character, and observed the contrast between the fierce malignity and scorn revealed in the first scene in the second act, the subsequent assumption of extreme humility when Elsa leads her into her abode, and the fiendish despair of the closing incidents of the same act, is likely to dissent from this opinion, and its reassertion, in connection with last evening's work, is all that need be offered as a reference to the subject. Herr Niemann's Lohengrin was, in the first and second acts at least, an agreeable surprise. That the swan song and the melodious and tender measures addressed to Elsa should lack the sensuous charm with which Italian voices and the Italian method have endowed them in the past was to have been looked for, but it was not anticipated that the German tenor, who long ago outlived the season which the poet has described as "la giouentù, della vita," would succeed in giving these passages of his music with anything resembling tonal richness or charm. Strange and pleasant to say, Herr Niemann accomplished the unexpected, and the temporary farewell to his white-winged courser, and the fragmentary but beautiful phrases to Lohengrin's bride were sung not only with feeling, but with welcome purity of tone. In the duet in the third act there were evidences that Herr Niemann was suffering from overexertion, and the long-drawn sweetness of many of the composer's measures was missed from the number. From a dramatic standpoint Herr Niemann's Lohengrin is a very attractive and forceful representation, deficient perhaps in some of the attributes usually associated with the personage - rather theatrical attributes, perhaps, but none the less touching and impressive on that account - but manly, sympathetic, and earnest in a very high degree. The tenor's Lohengrin is perhaps the most deeply-felt portrayal, if one may so put it, he has yet disclosed to his many well-wishers. The remaining rôles in "Lohengrin" were in competent hands. Frau Herbert-Foerster, as Elsa, will probably improve, later on in respect of spontaneity; last night, although a little prosaic, she supplied an intelligent delineation of Wagner's heroine, and sang with considerable power. Dr. Basch was a competent Telramund, and Herr Heinrich a capital Herald. Herr Sieglitz was barely equal to the duties of the King. A very large audience witnessed the performance and applauded loudly the overture, the orchestral preface to the third act, the magnificent quintet and ensemble in the first, and the duets in act the third, besides honoring the artists with two recalls whenever the curtain fell.



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