[Met Performance] CID:94090
Tannhäuser {238} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/8/1926.

(Debut: Louise Lerch
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 8, 1926


TANNHÄUSER {238}
Wagner-Wagner

Tannhäuser..............Curt Taucher
Elisabeth...............Maria Jeritza
Wolfram.................Clarence Whitehill
Venus...................Margarete Matzenauer
Hermann.................Paul Bender
Walther.................George Meader
Heinrich................Max Bloch
Biterolf................Arnold Gabor
Reinmar.................James Wolfe
Shepherd................Editha Fleischer
Page....................Louise Lerch [Debut]
Page....................Minnie Egener
Page....................Grace Anthony
Page....................Mary Bonetti

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Hans Kautsky
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert
Choreographer...........August Berger

Tannhäuser received four performances this season.

Review of Leonard Liebling in the New York American

JERITZA CHARMS IN 'TANNHÄUSER'

The Nearly Perfect Wagnerite (to paraphrase Bernard Shaw) turns up his nose at "Tannhäuser" as a too easily accessible product of the composer's early development.
Mere music-loving mortals, however, continue to love this clear-cut drama, with its medieval Teutonic pomp, its fascinating admixture of spirituality and passion, and its broad melodies and brilliant orchestration. It will be a long time, according to present indications, before Mr. Public and his family stop buying records of the Overture, the March, the "Pilgrims Chorus" and the "Song to the Evening Star."

Wagner called this opera, in full, "Tannhäuser, or The Contest of Singers at Wartburg." The Wartburg is a castled ruin near Eisenach, in Thuringia, and tourists still climb up a steep mountain to view the place. For, you see, Wagner's "Tannhäuser" employs partly historical characters, and its interwoven legend of Venus and her Cave of Joy, is based on Saga indigenous to the environs of Eisenach, near which they show you the Cave.

Try as you will, however, you cannot find a Venus in, or about, that sleepy little Thuringian town. I once climbed to the Wartburg and tried to feel as Wagner felt when re re-created its life, and the spirit of a people that crowded the combats whose gladiators were vocal instead of fistic. If I did not succeed in my endeavor, at least I realized a thrill of awe, which was not dispelled even when the custodian of the ruins tried to tell me that Wagner wrote his "Tannhäuser" on that very spot.

Wagner could not have conceived a lovelier, more spiritual, or sweeter-voice Elizabeth than the Metropolitan offered last night in the person of Maria Jertiza. She equaled her best previous presentations of the role. Curt Taucher was a highly musical and sufficiently romantic Tannhäuser. Clarence Whitehill was in his accustomed part as Wolfram, and Margaret Matzenauer resumed her voicing of the lyrical seductions of Venus.

As the Shepherd, Editha Fleischer, a newcomer in the Metropolitan fold, revealed a pleasing voice and a refined singing style. Artur Bodanzky does not conduct this opera like a Nearly Perfect Wagnerite, but like one who loves it.



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