[Met Performance] CID:5510
Tannhäuser {30} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/18/1886.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 18, 1886 Matinee


TANNHÄUSER {30}

Tannhäuser..............Albert Niemann
Elisabeth...............Auguste Seidl-Kraus
Wolfram.................Adolf Robinson
Venus...................Lilli Lehmann
Hermann.................Emil Fischer
Walther.................Max Alvary
Heinrich................Otto Kemlitz
Biterolf................Max Heinrich
Reinmar.................Emil Sänger
Shepherd................Ida Klein

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

Review in The New York Times:

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

Yesterday's representation of "Tannhäuser" not only called forth a surprisingly large audience, but aroused the listeners to something more nearly akin to enthusiasm than is usually witnessed at matinée performances. The music of the opera and its story have now become thoroughly well known to the general public; although it cannot be said that the sorrows of Tannhäuser and Elizabeth are as admirable material for a dramatic story as the French writers have found for such model opera books as those of "The Prophet" and "The Huguenots," and, while it must be conceded that portions of the score are long drawn and tedious, there are profoundly impressive scenes in the libretto and magnificent numbers in the score. Conspicuous among the former are Tannhäuser's parting from Elizabeth in the second act, Elizabeth's scene at the foot of the cross, and the picture of Tannhäuser's return from Rome; among the latter may be mentioned the overture, the Pilgrims' chorus, the septet, the duet in the second act and portions of the finale, Elizabeth's prayer, and the romance "to the evening star." A representation wherein, with the possible exception of the heroine's prayer to which Frau Krauss scarcely imparted the requisite pathos, all these striking points were vividly brought forth could hardly fail of success, even when given for the behalf of a throng in which the fair sex was overwhelmingly in the majority. Herr Niemann has been in better voice than he was yesterday, but he never supplied a more intense and touching delineation of Tannhäuser. In the finale of the second act the eloquence of his performance was particularly marked, and, although parts of the concerted number were sung with an indifference to intonation that was often distressing, the spectacle of passionate grief offered by the tenor moved the assemblage deeply and brought about two recalls for the artists concerned. Herr Robinson's Wolfram was as picturesque and effective as ever. The baritone succeeded in lending some measure of charm to his share of the bards' contest - a tolerably difficult task, when the character of the music is taken into account - and it goes without saying that the romance wrought its wonted impression, notwithstanding its un-Wagnerian attributes of symmetry and sweetness. One of the most beautiful stage views New York audiences have looked upon adds largely to the effect of Wolfram's air in the third act of "Tannhäuser" - the set showing the castle of the Wartburg with the evening star glistening in a Summer sky. Wagner himself, with all his exactions, would have been content, had he lived, with the combined realism and poetry of the scene. The remaining roles in the opera were filled yesterday by the familiar artists-- Fräulein Lehmann, Herren Fischer, Alvary, and so on. The chorus was not in notably good form, and a few supplementary rehearsals would improve the general tone of their work.



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