[Met Performance] CID:94030
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {163} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/3/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 3, 1926


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {163}
Wagner-Wagner

Hans Sachs..............Clarence Whitehill
Eva.....................Florence Easton
Walther von Stolzing....Rudolf Laubenthal
Magdalene...............Marion Telva
David...................George Meader
Beckmesser..............Gustav Schützendorf
Pogner..................Léon Rothier
Kothner.................Lawrence Tibbett
Vogelgesang.............Max Bloch
Nachtigall..............Louis D'Angelo
Ortel...................Paolo Ananian
Zorn....................Angelo Badà
Moser...................Max Altglass
Eisslinger..............Giordano Paltrinieri
Foltz...................James Wolfe
Schwarz.................William Gustafson
Night Watchman..........Arnold Gabor

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

Director................Wilhelm von Wymetal
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg received six performances this season.

Review of Samuel Chotzinoff in the New York Post

AT THE METROPOLITAN

The [first] night having been disposed of, the Metropolitan got down to business last night with a generally excellent performance of "Die Meistersinger." Why in the name of all that's musical this absorbing comedy wasn't given Monday no one will ever make out. It contains all the popular ingredients of the grandest opera - romantic love, lot of chorus, a villain, dancing and a cast as large as a morality play. Incidentally, it also contains about as beautiful music as one can ever hear in an opera house or, for that matter, a concert hall. Perhaps it is just this that makes it unsuitable for a [first] night, at least one is led to believe so by the choice for this and last year's premieres.

Nothing is more futile than to pit masterpieces against each other, but it seems to me that a work of art which is an affirmation of the joy of living is bound to have a longer hold on posterity than an artistic segregation of some special side of life. In "Tristan" Wagner has embodied once and for all adult erotic love. In the "Ring" he has placed the epic, with its variety of superhuman emotions, on the musical map. But in "Die Meistersinger' alone you will find a beautiful celebration of the average life and every thing in it that contents the heart and mind, those things which sufficiently offset its inevitable pain. There came a period in Wagner's life when he saw the existence "clearly" and saw it whole, and "Die Meistersinger" was the best result. Undoubtedly the passionate, chromatic music of "Tristan" gives one a bigger thrill than the Olympian beauty and calm of this great comedy. But for that very reason "Tristan" will remain forever unsatisfying while "Die Meistersinger" will forever be an amen to life in its average human aspect.

The performance last night had all the familiar features of Mr. Gattii's fine presentation of it in the past. Miss Easton was the Eva and, like most Evas in opera houses everywhere, she seemed a little mature for the ingenuous youthful heroine of Wagner's imagining, but she sang with understanding and simulated the traditional qualities of a good German girl. Mr. Whitehill, although limited in the matter of top notes, made the poetic shoemaker a touchingly noble figure, and Mr. Schützendorf acted Beckmesser so wholeheartedly that one felt a little sorry for his run of hard luck.

There is nothing new to say of Mr. Laubenthal's Walther. That excellent baritone Lawrence Tibbett undertook, for the first time, I believe, the small part of one of the master singers, the fellow who enumerates the rigid poetic rules of the song contest. This also calls for no comment. Mr. Tibbett, I imagine, is hankering after stronger meat, and it may not be long before he is doing Hans Sachs and doing it, if his other achievements are auguries, very well. Mr. Bodanzky gave a finely wrought and poetic reading of the score, and, indeed, the entire presentation was a fine example of good opera.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).