[Met Performance] CID:89060
Die Walküre {207} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/21/1925.

(Debut: Maria Müller

Metropolitan Opera House
January 21, 1925


Brünnhilde..............Julia Claussen
Siegmund................Curt Taucher
Sieglinde...............Maria Müller [Debut]
Wotan...................Michael Bohnen
Fricka..................Karin Branzell
Hunding.................William Gustafson
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Marion Telva
Helmwige................Marcella Röseler
Ortlinde................Laura Robertson
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Kathleen Howard
Siegrune................Raymonde Delaunois
Waltraute...............Henriette Wakefield

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Die Walküre received five performances this season.

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Her first appearance found great favor with the audience. She received five calls after the first act in addition to the several others which she took in company with her associates. Miss Mueller has some valuable gifts, namely youth, prepossessing appearances, a voice of pleasing quality and a dramatic temperament. Together with these she has intelligence and an indisputable sense of the theater. Her Sieglinde, despite some shortcomings, was one of the most satisfying the Metropolitan has known.

Miss Mueller's voice is not a large one and her upper tones were over-taxed by certain passages, so that they were forced and lost the color and vibrancy heard in the medium. But this soprano sings a true legato, can spin tone and can deliver a sustained phrase piano so that it flows and carries. She sang all the dialogue phrases with a nicety of emphasis and enunciation that gave them full value. In fact, her knowledge of how to give point to every phrase is one of her greatest possessions.

Not only did she sing her part well, but she suited the action to the word. She gave a histrionic impersonation of the role which for tenderness, charm, play of mood, and expression, and a finely wrought climax in her passionate surrender to Siegmund could not fail to bring her the enthusiasm of the audience. Her second and third act sustained her first, but it is in the first that Sieglinde succeeds or fails.

Review of Olin Downes in The New York Times

A spirited performance of "Die Walküre" last night In the Metropolitan
Opera, House introduced to her first American audience Maria Mueller, a young Czech soprano, in the rôle of Sieglinde. Miss Mueller, who is 23 and who made her debut three years ago at Linz as Elsa in "Lohengrin." was warmly welcomed. She has a fresh and youthful voice, a little small for the demands of her rôle last night, much grace and sincerity as an actress and marked intelligence in interpretation.
Not often is the figure of Sieglinde so human, so tender and so appealing to the beholder. Miss Mueller's singing, like her dramatic interpretation, was distinguished in greater part by restraint, by fine values and well-planned contrasts. Only in passages of the first act and in the brief passage debut and a new stage. There was, a
as the singer obliged to draw too heavily upon her upper register. When this occurred the quality of the tone suffered. In the second act, where the same thing might have been expected, Miss Mueller was intensely emotional without any exaggeration. In the love scene of the first act a bigger line, a more passionate curve might have been desired, and this might have developed under other circumstances than those of a debut and a new stage, There was, at all events, a new and a notable artistic impersonation of the unhappy Volsung daughter, and evidence of a valuable addition to the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Another debut had been postponed-that of Mme. Larsen-Todsen as Bruennhilde. She had not wholly recovered from her recent accident at rehearsal. Her place was taken by Julia Claussen. Mme. Claussen was hampered by the fact that Bruennhilde's tessitura lay high for a voice not a soprano. She showed, however, her musicianship, her experience and understanding of her part. Mr. Taucher's Siegmund is better than his Tristan, though it seldom becomes romantic in figure or beautiful in song. But Karin Branzell's Fricka had a superb voice and was the true exponent of Wagner's text-shrewish, overbearing. righteously indignant; also most authoritative with her husband and in the delivery of her music. Fricka was for once not a bore, but a woman with feelings, however inconvenient uncivilly expressed, and left for work on the performance.

In Mr. Bohnen the Metropolitan has, of course, a bass of splendid resonance and confidence, well acquainted with the business of his part. Wotan is one of the most difficult roles in all opera. Mr. Bohnen's interpretation does not reflect all the philosophic subtleties of the part, but it goes over the footlights and through Wagner's reverberant orchestration. Wotan's last fateful words, high on the mountain top at the end of the first act, were among the finest details of his interpretation.

Mr. Bodanzky conducted with emotional vigor and control of his forces. He had a well-adjusted ensemble to carry out his wishes. The Valkyries sang with admirable power of lung on a mountain unusually cloudless for the directions in Wagner's score. The audience rejoiced in the performance and in Wagner's superb opera.

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