[Met Performance] CID:6440
Die Walküre {24} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/18/1888.

(Debut: Sophie Traubmann, Emmy Miron
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 18, 1888


DIE WALKÜRE {24}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Lilli Lehmann
Siegmund................Albert Niemann
Sieglinde...............Auguste Seidl-Kraus
Wotan...................Emil Fischer
Fricka..................Marianne Brandt
Hunding.................Johannes Elmblad
Gerhilde................Marianne Brandt
Grimgerde...............Miss Kemlitz
Helmwige................Sophie Traubmann [Debut]
Ortlinde................Ida Klein
Rossweisse..............Emmy Miron [Debut]
Schwertleite............Lena Göttich
Siegrune................Minnie Dilthey
Waltraute...............Louise Meisslinger

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

Director................Theodore Habelmann
Set Designer............Josef Hoffmann
Set Designer............William Schaeffer
Set Designer............Gaspar Maeder
Costume Designer........Carl Doepler
Costume Designer........Henry Dazian

Die Walküre received four performances this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times

METROPOLITAN OPERA. HOUSE.

"Die Walküre" was presented for the first time this Winter before one of the largest audiences of the season. The great music drama was received once more with every demonstration of respectful admiration. The house was quieter than it has been at any performance since the first night of "Siegfried," boxes, stalls, and galleries showing equal interest in the proceedings of the evening. It is not necessary to enter into any extended account of the merits and defects of this masterwork. The music drama is familiar to all students of the loftiest music. Last season's presentations made the work generally known. One thing, of course, makes the revival uncommonly interesting. The production of "Siegfried" has thrown a new light on "Die Walküre." As the latter precedes the former in the "Niebelungen" series and deals with the incidents leading to the death of the hero's father and his own birth, it acquires a new significance when heard in some nearness to the other drama. Of course the significance will be still more manifest when the three dramas of the trilogy are given in their order. Familiarity acquired through separate hearings can do no harm, as it enables the hearer better to trace through the three great works, when heard in their sequence, the marvelous use of the various motives. Like all Wagner's works, "Die Walküre" seems the better for repetition. A man has to take a great work into his mind and let it live with him for a time before he can honestly appreciate it. Thus he may learn to know thoroughly its strength and elicit weakness as it may have. Defects, of course, there are in all human works, and there are not a few in "Die Walküre." A part of the second act is of that sombre quality which is not likely to please the average hearer of opera as we used to know it. "Die Walküre" is a tragic work, and its whole mood is pitched in a different key from that of "Siegfried," which is sweet and romantic in temper from beginning to end. But musical art is advancing along a loftier level than it knew of old. The world in general is beginning to have the knowledge which was formerly the privilege of a silent few. Musical amateurs are beginning to understand that this is a serious art form, capable of mighty purposes and almost fathomless meanings. They are beginning to perceive that music is not a thing simply for the tickling of ears and the amusement of the moment. It is beginning to stand in the estimation of thinking men and women beside the most elevated drama and poetry. Its truest lovers believe that it stands higher in some senses. As these ideas spread among the people the world is better prepared to listen with sympathy to such productions as "Die Walküre." Even those of us who do not admire Wagner's music at all times feel that he moves in the right direction, and that even where he is most wearisome his purpose atones for his lack of magnetism. The way in which a great audience receives "Die Walküre" now is au evidence that musical thought has made tremendous strides since the work was that performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1884. The presentation last night was, in general, a good one. Herr Niemann was in his best voice, and he sang the music without making himself especially disagreeable. His acting was expressive and dignified, and his Siegmund must be set down as one of his best achievements. Fraülein Lehmann's Brünnhilde is well known as a notably fine piece of work. It was noble last night in every way. Frau Seidl-Kraus is not up to the requirements of Sieglinde vocally or histrionically, but her performance was tolerable. Fräulein Brandt was excellent as Fricka. Herr Fischer was a splendid Wotan and Herr Elmblad an acceptable Hunding. The orchestra was in good form, save that one of the trombones was half a tone flat,



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