[Met Performance] CID:6760
Lohengrin {45} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/30/1888.

(Debut: Katherine Senger-Bettaque, Joseph Beck
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 30, 1888


LOHENGRIN {45}
Wagner-Wagner

Lohengrin...............Max Alvary
Elsa....................Katherine Senger-Bettaque [Debut]
Ortrud..................Hedwig Reil
Telramund...............Alois Grienauer
King Heinrich...........Emil Fischer
Herald..................Joseph Beck [Debut]
Noble...................George Egener
Noble...................Mr. Stein
Noble...................Jean Doré
Noble...................William Cook

Conductor...............Walter Damrosch

Director................Theodore Habelmann
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

[At the time of her debut Katherine Senger-Bettaque was listed in company programs as Katherine Bettaque.]

Lohengrin received four performances this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times

"LOHENGRIN" ONCE AGAIN.

The Metropolitan Opera House last evening contained an audience whose size and enthusiasm showed that, instead of diminishing, the public's love for that admirable work of musico-dramatic art, Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" is continually growing. The performance was somewhat uneven, but on the whole was commendable. Three more members of the company were heard for the first time, and of these one made a distinctly favorable impression. This was Fräulein Bettaque, who sang the rôle of Elsa. This vocalist is blessed with a prepossessing appearance and a figure which does not require an over-exertion of the imagination to reduce its proportions to poetic limits. In addition to this Fräulein Bettaque is graceful, and has an easy way of falling into picturesque poses. Her demeanor is, perhaps, not suggestive of any unfathomable depths of feeling, but her action is appropriate, and to a certain extent significant. She is a good singer. Her voice is a round and resonant soprano, of excellent quality and sufficient volume to fill the Opera House. Her phrasing last evening was rather too short to preserve a good fluency of delivery, but her voice production was good, her intonation generally accurate, her style free from affectation, and her use of mezza voce effects well timed, if not always well executed. Her Elsa was not a strongly dramatic portrayal, but it was full of tenderness and was attractive. Fräulein Bettaque, judged by last evening's work, may be set down as one of the successful new-comers of the company. Frau Hedwig Reil, who made her debut as Ortrud - her appearance in a small part in the "Huguenots" not being worthy of consideration - cannot be set down as a valuable acquisition. Her voice is sufficiently powerful, but is hard and metallic in quality, and her delivery is sadly marred by the much-dreaded vibrato. Frau Reil, moreover, is not an agreeable stage picture, and she has the smallest possible amount of ability as an actress. Herr Joseph Beck appeared in America for the first time as the Herald. His voice seems to be much worn, and his singing of the music was without color, though his method is not bad. Herr Grinauer made a much more favorable impression as Telramund than he did as De Nevers. His voice was in better condition, and though it is not an organ of the first quality, it has some effective notes. He acted the part with a fine display of sincerity, but with a tendency to exaggeration of gesture at times. Herr Alvary reappeared and was warmly welcomed as Lohengrin. His voice was somewhat cloudy in the [first] measures, but soon cleared up and was heard to advantage. Herr Fischer sang King Henry, and it need only be said that the performance was worthy of the artist. The chorus was in better form last evening than the [first] night and discharged its duties in a satisfactory manner. The orchestra deserves warm praise for its brilliant and expressive treatment of the superb score. The only serious fault was au occasional tendency of the bass to make itself too prominent. Mr. Walter Damrosch conducted the opera for the first time, and acquitted himself with credit. This afternoon "Les Huguenots" will be repeated.



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