[Met Performance] CID:98650
Die Walküre {227}
Ring Cycle [49]
Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/1/1928.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 1, 1928 Matinee


DIE WALKÜRE {227}
Der Ring des Nibelungen: Cycle [49]

Brünnhilde..............Florence Easton
Siegmund................Rudolf Laubenthal
Sieglinde...............Maria Müller
Wotan...................Michael Bohnen
Fricka..................Julia Claussen
Hunding.................William Gustafson
Gerhilde................Phradie Wells
Grimgerde...............Marion Telva
Helmwige................Dorothee Manski
Ortlinde................Mildred Parisette
Rossweisse..............Ina Bourskaya
Schwertleite............Dorothea Flexer
Siegrune................Elda Vettori
Waltraute...............Henriette Wakefield

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

Review signed M. W. in the New York Tribune

Easton is Heard As Brünnhilde in 'Walküre' Matinee

Metropolitan Has Decorous Gathering for Its Third Performance in Cycle

The performance of "Die Walküre" at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday, the third matinee in the current Wagner cycle, was not one of the best which has been given there in this or any other season. The two stars of the afternoon were the late Mr. Richard Wagner, whose mighty conception and deathless music prevailed over a singularly inept performance, and the audience, which was a notably decorous, attentive and intelligent gathering of people brought together by a common and sincere desire to enjoy a great master-work and for no other reason.

In the orchestra pit, presided over by Mr. Bodanzky, things went as they have gone before with this score, a rough and shallow tone, a hurrying, impatient tempo, lacking breadth and nobility.

On the stage there was a collection of gods and demi-gods which sometimes satisfied, but more often strained, the imagination. Vocally the honors and dishonors were also even. The most credible of all were the Volsung twins, Miss Müller's personal loveliness and strong young voice make some amends for an affecting awkwardness in her Sieglinde, and Mr. Laubenthal's sincerity and ingenuous observance of the role's conventions redeem his Siegmund from its lyrical short-comings. The solitary human in the cast, Hunding, was conveyed by Mr. Gustafson with his familiar lack of distinction. As for the royal family of Valhalla, Mr. Bohnen may have meant well in so arresting our attention with his consistently "different" Wotan - the audience was certainly more often dismayed than bored - but nothing can excuse the liberties which he allowed himself with those majestic and moving vocal lines not so carelessly compiled by Mr. Wagner. His farewell to Brünnhilde was a miracle of misguided zeal!

The impersonator of Fricka, the outraged goddess of hearthstone virtue, was Mme. Julia Claussen, making yesterday afternoon her first appearance with company this season. Mme. Claussen is routine in gesture, adequate in voice, somewhat strident and shrewish in disposition.

And what Mme. Florence Easton accomplishes as Brünnhilde, the gloriously disobedient Valkry, is well known here and accepted by many with enthusiasm. It is, from the point of view of intrepidity, an admirable performance, for Mme. Easton's conspicuous talents are not most at home among the sweeping and elemental passions and actions of the Wagnerian hierarchy. Her voice coped righteously with the written notes, but its quality was not intended to be heard among the thunders, and her dramatic efforts were the more commendable in view of her natural limitations.



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