[Met Performance] CID:93000
Siegfried {132} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/29/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 29, 1926


SIEGFRIED {132}

Siegfried...............Rudolf Laubenthal
Brünnhilde..............Nanny Larsén-Todsen
Wanderer................Clarence Whitehill
Erda....................Karin Branzell
Mime....................Max Bloch
Alberich................Gustav Schützendorf
Fafner..................William Gustafson
Forest Bird.............Charlotte Ryan

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

Review of W. J. Henderson in the Sun

Laubenthal Takes Title Role and Mme. Branzell Replaces Mme. Schumann-Heink.

It is not often that "Siegfried" confronts the Monday night subscribers at the Metropolitan Opera House for, as a rule, this drama is given in the series of the Nibelung's Ring and not left, as Wagner once left it, suspended in the forest before Neidhoele while he went forward in search of new worlds. What the Monday evening subscribers think when they find themselves seated before this prodigious fairy tale, observing the forging of the mightiest and most helpless of swords by the young man, unafraid, for the slaying of a dragon which declaims pathetic sentiments through a megaphone in a bass voice, need not deeply concern even the most speculative chronicler of operatic doings. What to subscribers is Hecuba or Erda?

The performance of last night was not precisely like that of the "Ring" series. Mr. Melchior was replaced by Mr. Laubenthal in the name part. There need be no comparisons if for no other reason, at least because neither has set the standard for the role. But Mr. Laubenthal stands with considerable firmness on his own merits. He looks the young Volsung and puts into the impersonation that impetuous energy which serves so well in the absence of some subtler qualities. He sang much of the music last night with refreshing vigor and with an intelligent observance of the meaning of the text. One could wish for a little more inspiring Siegfried, but this one is interesting.

Three other changes were noticed: Mr. Whitehill sang the Wanderer in the place of Mr. Schorr; Mme. Branzell succeeded Mme. Schumann-Heink as Erda; and Charlotte Ryan followed Miss Kandt as the unseen bird in the wilderness. This little bird so often ought to be like children, seen and not heard, that one wearies of longing for the voice of the nightingale. Yet it is almost certain that in this part the nightingale of Kansas City would be highly agreeable. But alas! There was a time when people insisted that Melba ought to sing it, but she never did. Probably neither will Miss Talley.

Mr. Whitehill's Wanderer is an old and tried friend. The American singer was in good voice last evening and was able to sustain the long phrases well. The dignity and fine penetration of his interpretation were as they long had been.



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