[Met Performance] CID:8510
Das Rheingold {18} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/21/1890.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 21, 1890


DAS RHEINGOLD {18}
Wagner-Wagner

Wotan...................Emil Fischer
Fricka..................Louise Meisslinger
Alberich................Joseph Beck
Loge....................Heinrich Vogl
Erda....................Charlotte Huhn
Fasolt..................Edward Schlömann
Fafner..................Conrad Behrens
Freia...................Sophie Wiesner
Froh....................Albert Mittelhauser
Donner..................Joseph Arden
Mime....................Paul Kalisch
Woglinde................Sophie Traubmann
Wellgunde...............Félicie Kaschowska
Flosshilde..............Charlotte Huhn

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

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

Das Rheingold received three performances this season.

Unsigned review in The New York Times

"DAS RHIEINGOLD"

The prologue to Wagner's trilogy was performed at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening for the first time this season before a large and thoroughly interested audience. The performance was one of genuine merit, and had special importance through the first appearance here as Loge of Herr Vogl, who "created" the rôle at Bayreuth in 1876. The fact that this artist received his instruction in the part from Wagner in person ought to satisfy us that he knows the meaning of the text and music. If, however, any one had doubts before on these points, they were certainly removed last night by Herr Vogl's superb performance.

It was a masterly interpretation, and, together with the tenor's recent appearances as Siegfried totally justified the large reputation he brought with him from Europe. In subtlety and incisiveness of look and action, in significance of vocal color and accentuation, it was simply remarkable. And to this must be added the fact that the tenor sang the music beautifully and enunciated the text with fine clearness. It was a genuine treat to hear Wagner's melody, which is, in the rôle of Loge, so admirably mingled with striking declamatory passages. As Loge is without doubt the central figure of "Das Rheingold," last night's audience was happy in having so notable a representative of him.

The opera, however, was not without good interpreters. Herr Fischer repeated his dignified and sound rendering of that most uncomfortable god, Wotan, whose buffetings by fate from the beginning to the end of the trilogy ought to excite pity. Herr Fischer was not in the best of voice, but he sang in his usual artistic style. Herr Beck was once more the Alberich, and it is unnecessary to add that he was a thoroughly good one. He took no chances of getting hurt again, however, by falling off the Rheingold rock, but sang his music behind the scenes, while a ridiculous double, who looked like a Jack-in-the-box, posed beside the gold. Herr Kalisch was a capital Mime, singing the music as it has never before been sung here, and acting with fine spirit and judgment.

Herren Behrens and Schömann appeared as Fafner and Fasolt and, though not quite sure of themselves, were satisfactory. Herr Arden and Herr Mittelhauser were not especially imposing as Donner and Froh. Fräulein Meiesslinger sang the music of Fricka unexpectedly well. Fräulein Wiesner was a tolerably good Freia, and the three Rhine nymphs were excellently done by Fräuleins Traubmann. Kaschowska and Huhn. The orchestra, under Herr Seidl's capable direction, did its work well, barring some uncertainty of intonation in the brass at the [start] of the drama. The change from the first scene to the second was not made so smoothly as it might have been, but on the whole the picturesqueness of the work was not impaired, and the general results of the evening were admirable.



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