[Met Performance] CID:83800
Lohengrin {326} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/26/1923.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 26, 1923


LOHENGRIN {326}

Lohengrin...............Curt Taucher
Elsa....................Barbara Kemp
Ortrud..................Julia Claussen
Telramund...............Clarence Whitehill
King Heinrich...........Michael Bohnen
Herald..................Gustav Schützendorf
Page....................Grace Anthony
Page....................Grace Bradley
Page....................Laura Robertson
Page....................Charlotte Ryan

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

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Herald

Curt Taucher Sings Title Role and Mme. Kemp Appears in the Part of Elsa

The Wagnerian festival singers at the Lexington Theater having given their final performance of "Lohengrin" last week, the drama resumed its activities at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening in the presence of a numerous audience. The proceedings indicated that in some respects the old Broadway institution was faced with difficulties similar to those found by the visitors, while in all that lay in the power of a permanent institution it rose superior to the Germans. The mounting of operas in these days is usually adequate and often sumptuous. "Lohengrin" is not a medium for spectacular display, but Mr. Gatti-Casazza has provided it with good scenery, appropriate costumes, a competent chorus and an equally competent orchestra.

Furthermore, nothing of the sacred spirit of devotion to the poetic and musical significance of the work is wanting. The performance of last evening was admirable in its sincerity, its observance of dramatic meaning and its well-balanced ensemble. In any theater in Germany such an interpretation of "Lohengrin" would have been regarded as worthy of high praise.

But this work demands lyric singing of the highest order, and here the performance fell short of the standards of excellence. Mme. Barbara Kemp acted Elsa (not a formidable task) with grace, every evidence of feeling and with intelligence, but with the music she had an uncomfortable evening. Tremulous and broken tones and manifestations of laborious effort were continuous. Probably she was not at her best, but an ascent of last evening's level to excellence would be long. Mme. Julia Claussen's Ortrud, familiar to the local stage, was of the same type.

Curt Taucher was a tolerable Lohengrin, but there was neither mystery in his impersonation nor magic in his tones. His was a workmanlike achievement, no more. It remained for Michael Bohnen and Clarence Whitehill to uphold the brilliant traditions of the local stage. The former was a King Henry of real human interest, deeply concerned in the drama enacted before him and decidedly in favor of Elsa and against Telramund from the start. Mr. Whitehill's fine Telramund was up to his own level last evening and nothing more need be said.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).