[Met Performance] CID:86280
Lohengrin {331} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/8/1924.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 8, 1924


LOHENGRIN {331}

Lohengrin...............Curt Taucher
Elsa....................Maria Jeritza
Ortrud..................Karin Branzell
Telramund...............Clarence Whitehill
King Heinrich...........Michael Bohnen
Herald..................Carl Schlegel
Page....................Charlotte Ryan
Page....................Laura Robertson
Page....................Henriette Wakefield
Page....................Cecil Arden

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

Photograph of Karin Branzell as Ortrud in Lohengrin.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Herald

Variations in 'Lohengrin'

"Lohengrin" at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening showed some considerable variations since the last previous performance. A new king sat on the historic mound and used his power to straighten out the tangle in the affairs of Brabant. A new Lohengrin floated down the Scheldt in his little swan boat to rescue the maiden in distress and to bid her, as her predecessor, Euridice, had been bidden, to ask no questions. A new Ortrud embodied the age old traits of the political woman, played for power, and lost. There was even another Herald to summon the shining knight to the "Gottesericht." But there was the same shrinking, but fatally inquisitive, Elsa and the same blustering, but henpecked, Telramund.

Of them all, however, only one was quite new to the Metropolitan stage. Miss Karen Branzell, the lately arrived Swedish singer, made her second appearance here, singing Ortrud. Mr. Bohnen's King Henry was revealed last year as one of the most benevolent, paternal and quickly moved sovereigns who ever tried to manage a company of petty feudal despots. Certainly no other presiding justice ever displayed a more tender interest in the prisoner at the bar than he did in Elsa. However, he looked like many of the medieval kings that one sees in the pictures in the histories and he sang the music with beauty of tone, clarity of diction and in many passages with great dignity of style.

Mr. Taucher's Lohengrin is, like a great many others, imported from Germany. He looked like an officer of the 106th Bavarian infantry and sang like a thoroughly well trained Bayreuth tenor. He rather vaguely conveyed the idea that Lohengrin had a mission about which there was no particular mystery, but which was of some importance to Brabant and much more to himself. His disappointment in Elsa when she insisted on knowing his real name and address was evident. He sang well; but he missed the keynote of Wagner's most subtle and elusive characterization, just as scores of other tenors have before him.

There remains the new members of the cast, Mr. Schlegel as the Herald, who may be dismissed with the statement that he was as he had been, and Mme. Branzell as the sinister, vindictive and impassioned Ortrud - all these she was and with a large limbed appearance and action well planned, vigorous and sometimes moving. Her Ortrud was not a revelation, but it was a broadly conceived and effectively executed impersonation. She sang all the music artistically, but without penetrating its heart. Her invocation of the old gods, however, was sung with much power and plentitude of voice.



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