[Met Performance] CID:55040
Lohengrin {279} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/21/1913.

(Debuts: Anna Giordano, Margarete Ober
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 21, 1913


LOHENGRIN {279}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Jacques Urlus
Elsa....................Olive Fremstad
Ortrud..................Margarete Ober [Debut]
Telramund...............Hermann Weil
King Heinrich...........Carl Braun
Herald..................Carl Schlegel
Noble...................Julius Bayer
Noble...................Ludwig Burgstaller
Noble...................Adolf Fuhrmann
Noble...................Marcel Reiner
Page....................Louise Cox
Page....................Rosina Van Dyck
Page....................Veni Warwick
Page....................Anna Giordano [Debut]

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

Director................Franz Hörth
Set Designer............Burghart & Co.
Set Designer............Kautsky & Rottonara Brothers [Act I only]
Costume Designer........Blaschke & Cie

Lohengrin received eight performances this season.


Review of Algernon St. John-Brenon in the Telegraph

MME. OBER WINS IN LOHENGRIN

As Ortrud, She Causes Audience to Forget Wagner Tradition and Break Into Applause.

The excellent feature of last night's performance of "Lohengrin" at the Metropolitan Opera House, was the overwhelming success of Mme. Margarete Ober in the role of Ortrud. Metropolitan audiences are not accustomed readily to indulge its enthusiasm over newcomers, even of unusual merit, but Mme. Ober proved herself to be endowed with a voice of such dominant and dramatic qualities that her auditors threw all sacred Wagnerian traditions to the winds and interrupted the progress of the second act, at the conclusion of the Invocation, with a torrent of applause.

It is hardly correct to describe Mme. Ober as a contralto in the generally accepted meaning of the term. I prefer to refer to her, for want of a better term, as a dramatic mezzo-soprano. Her acting, while strictly within the scheme of the nature of Ortrud, as Wagner conceived it, was perhaps too highly colored and pronounced, sometimes even to the verge of that which may be called the shrillness (in action) of the shrew. But she understood the character of Ortrud, which was that as Wagner himself has told us, of the woman embittered by misdirection and failure in politics. The type is not unfamiliar.

At the close of the second act, after the other artists had been called forward to receive the general gratulations of the audience, there was a particular demonstration in her favor. It was quite obvious that her hearers wished her to come before the curtain alone. The strange manners and the patent selfishness of one of the singers who up to that had done nothing to excite the imagination of the audience, prevented Madame Ober from receiving that which was due to her and which the whole house wished to extend to her. Every time the audience requested Madame Ober, the other singer put in an unsolicited and obtrusive appearance.

Madame Olive Fremstad was the Elsa. She is far from well advised to undertake the singing of music which does not lie strictly within the measure and temper of her voice. The balcony scene, I take it, should be sung with pronounced purity and sweetness of tone, suggestive of the bland purity and candid innocence of Elsa's character. Of course, Madame Fremstad sings the notes, but she sang them with effort and consequent grayness of result. In the more dramatic parts of later episodes she was something like herself.

Mr. Jacques Urlus, who was Lohengrin, is far more romantic in personal looks and bearing than many of his predecessors in the same part. The voice is robust and sonorous, firmly and rationally produced, if not always persuasive or poetical in color.

Others who were heard last night in Wagner's dulcet and harmonious opera were Carl Braun, as Henry the Fowler, Carl Schlegel as the voluble and eloquent but not always well-edited Herald.

The conducting of the opera, as has been the case for many years, was in the hands of Mr. Alfred Hertz, whose only reason for not leading it by memory must be that up to now he has forgotten to. The performance was of sterling worth.


Photograph of Margarete Ober as Ortrud in Lohengrin by Herman Mishkin.



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