[Met Performance] CID:98160
Götterdämmerung {99} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/26/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 26, 1928


GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG {99}
Wagner-Wagner

Brünnhilde..............Gertrude Kappel
Siegfried...............Walter Kirchhoff
Gunther.................Friedrich Schorr
Gutrune.................Maria Müller
Hagen...................Michael Bohnen
Waltraute...............Karin Branzell
Alberich................Gustav Schützendorf
First Norn..............Merle Alcock
Second Norn.............Henriette Wakefield
Third Norn..............Dorothee Manski
Woglinde................Editha Fleischer
Wellgunde...............Phradie Wells
Flosshilde..............Marion Telva
Vassal..................Max Altglass
Vassal..................Arnold Gabor

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

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

Götterdämmerung received three performances this season.

Review of Noel Straus in the New York World

GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG

A terrific amount of wasted energy was expended at the Metropolitan on last night's performance of "Götterdämmerung." All of the principals hurried themselves into their work, unsparing of lung or sinew. Mr. Bodanzky rushed his orchestra along until maelstroms of sound were set swirling. But the most strenuous coercion could not convert the presentation into a living entity.

Exactly what Mr. Bodanzky had in mind with his rapid stride of tempo is a matter or surmise. That he indulged in greater volume of tone than is his wont in the orchestral support of this opera probably was due to the fact that the cast contained voices of sufficient power to make that innovation possible. Undoubtedly all of the divisions of the trilogy, if they are to reach fully satisfactory production, demand such symphonic treatment - a feat rarely possible nowadays on account of the dearth of singers of the heroic mould able to vociferate audibly above such dense textures. It would have been a real privilege to hear the orchestra score thus restored to its proper amplitude and dynamic proportions had not the conductor, in so doing, crowded his rendition with crudities including uncommonly brash effects of percussion.

This crudeness seemed to work contagion on the stage. Or maybe matters worked vice versa. At any rate there was little to choose in finished artistry between what developed above or below the footlights. The main interest naturally centered on the new Brünnhilde, Gertrude Kappel, whose recent appearance in "Die Walküre" found instant favor. As the heroine of the more exacting role essayed last evening Mme. Kappel failed to envisage the requirements to any marked degree. She gave copiously of her voluminous tones, but only in the lower regions of her voice did they acquire pure beauty of quality. There was vigor in her interpretation but little reality or forcefulness. And overwhelming tragedy was scarcely suggested. The raptures of the love duet were sorely missing, and in vengeful mood later the singer was vehemently shrewish to an extent that nullified the heroism of her sacrifice, and aroused as little sympathy as the recriminations of any petty woman scorned.

Mr. Kirchhoff made a signally dismal figure as Siegfried, looking more like an elderly Teutonic uncle than a dragon slayer, and his vocalism was nothing to boast of. The Hagen of Mr. Bohnen sported a new wardrobe less startling than its predecessor. Mr. Schorr sang adequately as Gunther, but did not lend the role its characteristic qualities, and the rest of the participants added little of outstanding merit.



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