[Met Performance] CID:86380
Tannhäuser {223} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/14/1924.

(Debut: Friedrich Schorr
Reviews)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 14, 1924


TANNHÄUSER {223}

Tannhäuser..............Curt Taucher
Elisabeth...............Maria Jeritza
Wolfram.................Friedrich Schorr [Debut]
Venus...................Jeanne Gordon
Hermann.................William Gustafson
Walther.................George Meader
Heinrich................Max Bloch
Biterolf................Carl Schlegel
Reinmar.................Louis D'Angelo
Shepherd................Raymonde Delaunois
Page....................Grace Anthony
Page....................Minnie Egener
Page....................Nannette Guilford
Page....................Charlotte Ryan

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


Review from the New York Tribune

It was "Tannhäuser" at the Metropolitan Opera House last night, Mme Jeritza's last evening appearance of the season, and the spectators were densely thronged. The feature of the evening, however, was the first Metropolitan appearance of Friedrich Schorr, the Hungarian barytone, who was an outstanding figure of last year's Wagnerian Opera Festival. His performance of Wolfram fully justified expectation. His singing was marked by a delicacy of coloring, refinement and warmth of tone too seldom met in Wagnerian performances. His voice is not of the highest barytone type, and the highest notes gave a hint or two of strain, but, in voice and action, Mr. Schorr's performance merited the copious applause it received.

This was not the only debut of the evening, as Jeanne Gordon assumed the part of Venus for the first time and she played it creditably. She was in good voice and looked the part to a most satisfactory degree. Mr. Curt Taucher was an earnest Tannhäuser, with Mr. Gustafson an imposing Landgrave-while, as for Mme. Jeritza, her performance had all its now familiar charm. Mr. Bodanzky conducted.



Review in The New York World

"Tannhäuser," sung at the Metropolitan Opera House in the evening, attracted a surprisingly large audience. The outpouring may have been due to the debut of Friedrich Schorr as Wolfram, or the item that Mme. Jeritza is approaching her season's close may have influenced despondent opera patrons. At any rate, Mme. Jeritza again made a fine looking Elisabeth and sang well except for the final note of "Dich, Teure Halle" and Elisabeth's prayer, in the final act, which this soprano is inclined to break into small bits.

Mr. Schorr came here a year ago with the Wagnerian singers, from whose ranks the Metropolitan forces culled him, though they might have had him long before. The new artist got a fine reception. In the first act, his pleasing bass-baritone falling mellow and soft on the ear. It was fine singing of its kind but it soon developed that its kind was Mr. Schorr's chief stock in trade. The bass-baritone sings either piano or half voice most of the time and his performance after a while strikes an unvarying level. If you want a sentimental interpretation of Wolfram's praises of love, in the contest, and if you like the "Evening Star" song done in the same key, Mr. Schorr is your man. Each was a piece of fine interpretation though several degrees removed from Wagner. However, there are weeks of opera ahead of us and one performance is but as yesterday. Mr. Schorr may turn out as lusty as an eagle.



Review in the Brooklyn Eagle

The repetition of "Tannhäuser" is not an event of special importance to those who seek the new and unfamiliar in music-to those, who having heard an opera once in a season find themselves bored when forced to sit through it a second time before a twelvemonth has elapsed.

But the "Tannhäuser" of last evening's performance was a very particular one--a "Tannhäuser" unlike all others heard in recent years at the Metropolitan. For it marked the debut of Friedrich Schorr, the German baritone, who made such a successful appearance last season with the Wagnerian Festival Company.

Mr. Schorr was undoubtedly the outstanding figure in the Wagnerian company, and the announcement of his connection with the Metropolitan organization did not come as much of a surprise. We have a natural hesitancy about indulging in superlatives, yet we feel it no exaggeration to say that on many if not all counts Schorr is the finest German baritone that it has been our pleasure to hear. His voice is a marvelously rich and smooth one, always musical, with the tone of a large and resonant cello-an instrument always thoroughly at his command, of deep sweetness in mezza voce passages, of depth and sonority in more dramatic moments.

As an actor Mr. Schorr is no less apt-we speak from memory for the Wolfram of "Tannhäuser" is not a role that demands much from the singing actor. We recall his Sachs as the best we know of, and his Wotan as a superbly tender yet august god. Last evening he sang, as he has in the past, with the complete sincerity and assurance of a born artist. The hymn to the evening star has never been sung with a more musical tone, with a more deeply felt emotionalism. Schorr is the Wagnerian singer par excellence. His acting is traditional but it is not stereotyped, for it carries conviction with it. This debut was more or less as expected, since Schorr was to have made his first appearce in "Lohengrin" next Wednesday evening. But the incapacitation of Clarence Whitehill made the change necessary.

Another change in cast, also due to incapacitation, brought Jeanne Gordon to the role of Venus in place of Karin Branzell. Miss Gordon has not before sung the music of Wagner's seductive goddess, and although her voice is an admirable one, it is rather small for the role, lacking in the tonal cataclysms of which Mme. Matzenauer has accustomed us.

Jeritza sang Elisabeth, her last evening appearance of the season. And Gustafson replaced Bender in the role of the Landgraf. Otherwise the cast was familiar. Mr. Bodanzky conducted.


Review of Mary Ellis Opdyke in the New York Sun

TANNHÄUSER'S NEW RIVAL

One of the best things about the decidedly uneven performance of "Tannhäuser" given last night at the Metropolitan Opera House if not about any performance of the winter, was the company's new barytone Friedrich Schorr, transferred from last year's Wagnerian company to the golden advantage of the Broadway forces. Mr. Schorr's Wolfram turned out to be a majestic and earnest knight and a singer of appealing benignity and rarely mellow lyricism. He was given a decided ovation after the second act, and the seated chorus of Thuringian nobles expressed their enthusiasm for his contribution to the Wartburg songfest in approval that might well have come from inside their costumes no less deserved than the devotion of last year's mastersingers at the Manhattan Opera House, for their Hans Sachs.

In other respects the evening demonstrated the two strongest suits of the house; the brilliance of its assemblies and the glamour of its most potent personalities. For the former one cites the assurance of the aforesaid nobles, for the latter the ever dramatic and effulgent presence of Maria Jeritza in one of her happiest roles, Elizabeth.

Two of the company's frequent weaknesses were also, alas, to be noted: the carelessness of the men's chorus in matters of pitch and Teuton similitude, and second, the conviction of certain lesser members of the cast. Among these must be recorded Jeanne Gordon's Venus, who although enticing to the ear, appeared more concerned with her enchanted kingdom than the object of her enchantments. Curt Taucher must come late in the evaluation of the title role which he filled with a certain wooden animation, and leaving Messrs. Gustafson and Meader a couple of warm adjectives, the second deserving a bit more than the first, one must finally commend Mr. Bodanzky for his discretion disclosing the new barytone's mezza voce through his fervently sonorous orchestra.



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