[Met Performance] CID:97590
Die Walküre {224} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/14/1927.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 14, 1927


DIE WALKÜRE {224}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Florence Easton
Siegmund................Rudolf Laubenthal
Sieglinde...............Maria Jeritza
Wotan...................Clarence Whitehill
Fricka..................Margarete Matzenauer
Hunding.................Richard Mayr
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Marion Telva
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Mildred Parisette
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Kathleen Howard
Siegrune................Elda Vettori
Waltraute...............Henriette Wakefield

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

Director................Samuel Thewman
Set designer............Hans Kautsky

Die Walküre received five performances this season.

Review signed M. W. in the New York Tribune

Large Metropolitan Audience Hears 1st 'Walküre' of Season

Mme. Jeritza Is Shining Sieglinde, Imparting Flaming Youth Keynote to Role; Miss Easton's Good Work

We have had to wait a week longer than we did last year for our first "Walküre" of the season, but last evening, to the drumming of the primeval storm, the curtains parted at the Metropolitan to release a fine if not brilliant performance, quite worth the patience which the wait required.

So for the first time this season was heard the rushing of wings in the opera house. The music of "Walküre" is exciting, pregnant music. Even a tired orchestra which played "Aida" all the afternoon could not break its breathless sweep, even the relentless surgery which had been performed upon its pages could not devitalize it. A Brünnhilde obviously not designed for mountaineering, a Sieglinde of bewitching sophistication could not spoil the illusion.

It was not the best performance which the work has received here, not yet the worst. Mr. Bodanzky, who plays through these mighty Wagner scores as if they comprised his least agreeable duty, took heart in little last evening and refrained from exhibitions of dejection or irritation. There was both color and sweep in his first act. Later his tone thinned and dried. The [open*ng] of the third act found him without sympathy for its tumult.

On the stage things were also somewhat uneven. Chief interest lay in the assumption of Hunding's role for the first time by Mr. Mayr, and if he seemed merely bad-tempered rather than brutal, he disclosed more and better voice than at any time since he joined the company. We had in Mme. Jeritza a very shining Sieglinde, singularly childlike, full of pretty, gentle impulses until the subject of the sword came up, after which she threw herself into heroic poses and became, for the brief moments left her, a daughter of the gods. It is this artist's pleasure to vary frequently her interpretation of this role. It has been revealed as a marvel of restraint and beauty, it has had its evenings of incongruous worldliness. Last night was a modification of the two, with flaming youth its keynote, and a voice fresh and vibrant, well within bounds.

Miss Easton's Brünnhilde wore the worthy, conscientious aspect which she made familiar to us last year, with an added comprehension of the deeper significances. It is not, however, her role, except by adoption, and the voice, although it strove valiantly and prevailed, is never in any sense big enough for her music. Mr. Whitehill repeated, in excellent voice, his fine and dignified, warmly human portrayal of Wotan, and Mme. Matzenauer made of Fricka a formidable scold. Mr. Laubenthal's Siegmund is becoming acceptable through familiarity, and last evening he presented not only a plausible young Wälsung to the eye, but did not so frequently offend the ear.

As usual, the duel was badly managed, and the Octet of Walküren, although comprising some of the company's best secondary voices, was ragged and ill-rehearsed. A large audience seemed gratified with the late hour of beginning and remained longer than usual at the close.



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