[Met Performance] CID:61940
Das Rheingold {55}
Ring Cycle [44]
Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 02/3/1916.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 3, 1916 Matinee


DAS RHEINGOLD {55}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [44]
Wagner-Wagner

Wotan...................Hermann Weil
Fricka..................Margarete Matzenauer
Alberich................Otto Goritz
Loge....................Johannes Sembach
Erda....................Margarete Ober
Fasolt..................Carl Braun
Fafner..................Basil Ruysdael
Freia...................Marie Rappold
Froh....................Paul Althouse
Donner..................Henri Scott
Mime....................Albert Reiss
Woglinde................Lenora Sparkes
Wellgunde...............Julia Heinrich
Flosshilde..............Lila Robeson

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Director................Jan Heythekker
Set Designer............Hans Kautsky

Das Rheingold received three performances this season.


Unsigned review in the Herald

Brilliant Performance of "Das Rheingold"

Three Thousand Devotees of Wagner Applaud the First Matinee Cycle of "The Ring'

Two and one-half hours of solid, uninterrupted music at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday afternoon delighted three thousand devotes of Wagner at the season's first performance of "Das Rheingold," which began the matinee cycle of "The Ring." It was the best performance of the Wagner work heard here within the memory of those who have missed no "Rheingold" in years. Demanding absolute quietness, yesterday's audience hissed the slightest disturbance, and at the close stood and applauded the principals until the small army of scrubwomen, who stood waiting patiently for the god Wotan to occupy his new apartment in Walhall, began to hope the enthusiasts would go hence so they could clean up the auditorium for the night's "Bohème."

It was the first time that Mr. Bodanzky had conducted the work here, which was its chief feature of novelty. Not for a moment did he disappoint any music lovers who had heard his other Wagner interpretations. Those critics who sit with stop watch in hand to time conductors as one does race horses probably will declare that he hastened some of his tempi. This is so, but, on the other hand, he took such majesty of breadth that it sounded more impressive than ever before. The poetic and dramatic were wonderfully differentiated. And the orchestra was on its mettle in following Mr. Bodanzky's interpretation of the fanciful work, which takes one from the bottom of the Rhine to the Nibelungs' smithy in the bowels of the earth and then again to the castle of the gods, whose only approach is by means of a rainbow. And the scenery moved with precision and smoothness.

Mme. Matzenauer sang Fricka beautifully, Mme. Rappold was almost an ideal Freia, while Mme. Ober was in impressive Erda, and the three Rhine Maidens were satisfactorily sung by Misses Sparkes and Herinrich and Mme. Robeson.

Mr. Braun's impersonation of the giant Fasolt was a notable achievement dramatically and musically. Mr. Sembach's part as the fire god Loge was sung beautifully and generally well acted. Mr. Goritz was a most dramatic Alberich, although he indulged in exaggeration at times. Wotan was given a dignified treatment in the hands and voice of Mr. Weil. Mr. Reiss was an excellent Mime and other roles were satisfyingly taken by Messers Althouse, Scott and Ruysdael.

The "Ring" cycle had a flying start artistically, and at this rate should prove to be a series of model performances. Certainly "Das Rheingold" was fully that and then some.

It was decided after the performance to give "Das Rheingold" later in the season as a regular subscription performance at the Metropolitan. As the music drama was written and as it was presented yesterday there is no intermission in the work which beings the "Ring" cycle, but when it takes its place in the subscription repertoire there will be an intermission between the second and third scenes. To effect this there will be a finale brought to the music at this point. The work is given abroad with one intermission in some opera houses, but it will be a novelty at the Metropolitan.



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