[Met Performance] CID:95530
Siegfried {134} Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, Brooklyn: 02/22/1927.

(Review)


New York, Brooklyn
February 22, 1927


SIEGFRIED {134}

Siegfried...............Walter Kirchhoff
Brünnhilde..............Nanny Larsén-Todsen
Wanderer................Friedrich Schorr
Erda....................Marion Telva
Mime....................George Meader
Alberich................Gustav Schützendorf
Fafner..................William Gustafson
Forest Bird.............Editha Fleischer

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

Review of Harold A. Strickland in the Brooklyn Standard Union

KIRCHOFF MAKES DEBUT AT ACADEMY

New German Tenor Wins Borough Approval - Merged Orchestras

The latest debutant of the season in the ranks of the Metropolitan Opera Company achieved a new distinction last night by making his debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music within two weeks of his first appearance as a member of the company. Hitherto Brooklyn has been forced to wait for at least one season before hearing the newest importations for the 39th Street organization, but a change resulted in arranging the cast for the ninth opera which was "Siegfried." According to the original plans Rudolf Laubenthal was scheduled to sing the role, but when Walter Kirchoff about two weeks ago received an ovation for his Siegfried in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Times pointed out that in justice to the subscribers to the series in this borough, the newer member of the company should be sent here, and Mr. Gatti-Casazza finally acquiesced.

So last night Mr. Kirchoff showed Brooklynites why he has been styled the greatest German tenor now connected with the company. The role of Siegfried particularly in that opera of the "The Ring" is one that brings out the best qualities in this tenor's vocal equipment. His legato, an outstanding feature when one considers the usual list of German tenors, makes one forget his nationality. And to this he adds a comprehension of the requirements of the role, learned in the Wagnerian school abroad, that makes his Siegfried one that takes rank with the best that the Metropolitan has produced. His visit here last night was the first time that Mr. Kirchoff has sung in the Academy auditorium. For this reason he can be forgiven for over-emphasis in his vocal work; and for his decidedly "stagey" acting. At the Lafayette Avenue auditorium the space for promenade is limited as the new member of the company learned last night.

But this is no justification for his insistence upon the centre of the stage, with the full flood lights upon him as he gives forth the vocal outpourings usually identified only with a bravura of the Italian school. Mr. Kirchoff makes Siegfried a caveman, but his impassioned gestures frequently become ludicrous as he manhandles Brünnhilde. And clumsiness always stands out no matter how excellent one's vocal work may be. So last night, particularly in the final scene - which is the weakest in the Kirchoff interpretation of the role - Siegfried lost his magnetism and one forgot the distinguished vocal equipment of the newcomer as one saw the inept youth who was supposedly in love with the Valkyr.

And the mechanical work last night was not up to Metropolitan standards. Shadows of stagehands crept across the stage. The lighting was not gauged to fit the smallness of the auditorium and the sets were not "set' any too firmly. But these are incidentals. The principal event was the Brooklyn test of the newcomer and Mr. Kirchoff passed with high honors. Despite his shortcomings, his Siegfried is one that will always rank high. Mme. Larsen-Todsen was the Walkr with George Meader essaying the role of Mime capably. Mr. Schützendorf was a familiar Alberich and Mr. Gustafson was at home as Fafner. Mr. Schorr's Wotan has been referred to so frequently that the use of more adjectives here is unnecessary. Miss Telva did well with Erda despite the lack of mechanical support. Mr. Bodanzky gave us a "revised" score, but one handled reverently.



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