[Met Performance] CID:94680
Lohengrin {349} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/22/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 22, 1926


LOHENGRIN {349}

Lohengrin...............Rudolf Laubenthal
Elsa....................Elisabeth Rethberg
Ortrud..................Margarete Matzenauer
Telramund...............Clarence Whitehill
King Heinrich...........Paul Bender
Herald..................Lawrence Tibbett
Page....................Grace Anthony
Page....................Minnie Egener
Page....................Dorothea Flexer
Page....................Charlotte Ryan

Conductor...............Giuseppe Bamboschek

Review of W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun

'Lohengrin' at the Metropolitan

Giuseppe Bamboschek Conducts in Place of Artur Bodanzky, Who Is Ill

"Lohengrin" was the opera at the Metropolitan last evening and was under the spell of the prevalent influenza. The victim was Artur Bodanzky, who was to have conducted the performance, but who instead was confined to his bed. His illness was officially reported to be not serious, but demanding precautionary measures. The baton was wielded by Giuseppe Bamboschek, whose conducting is more familiar to Sunday night concert audiences.

"Lohengrin" can be turned into a sad mess by an uncertain conductor, as any one can testify who heard it given under Siegfried Wagner at Bayreuth just before the war. Mr. Bamboschek had some uncomfortable moments when the chorus seemed to be unable to dwell in fraternal agreement with the orchestra as to time, but on the whole the opera moved pretty well. Of course the chorus sang out of tune in the age-honored places and there was a want of what the irreverent could call pep in the whole presentation, but still the fact that Mr. Bamboschek had not an easy job must be taken into consideration.

Mr. Laubenthal was the Lohengrin and sang unusually well. Mr. Whitehill, always a competent Telramund, yielded in the trial by combat to a gentle tap on his shield which would have staggered even the missing Gottfried. Wagner calls for a big swing ("weitausgeholten Streich") but we seldom see it. It is incredible that a lusty baritone of six tall feet could be too much shaken up by a good honest swat that would make the thing look like a real fight. However, the tap is better than the distant fan we tend to see, which made it appear that Lohengrin was putting a spell on Telramund and thereby not playing the game.

Mme. Rethberg as Elsa contributed the best singing to the evening's pleasures. Her Elsa is nicely planned, if not greatly varied in theatrical nuance, and her delivery of the honeyed phrases drips with sweetness. She had a good vocal companion in Mr. Tibbett as the Herald. He sang the music excellently and that is all the Herald has to do. Mr. Bender, a stalwart and sonorous King, and Mme. Matzenauer, an authoritative Ortrud, completed a cast as good as the day can produce.



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