[Met Tour] CID:96430

Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia, Fri, April 29, 1927 Matinee

Review 1:

Review of Frank Daniel in the Atlantan


Walter Kirchhoff established himself among the foremost German tenors Atlanta has heard when he appeared Friday afternoon in the Metropolitan Opera company's presentation of "Lohengrin" at the Atlanta auditorium . His performance lent novelty and nobility to a production which included three established favorites of the first order - Florence Easton who was Elsa; Julia Claussen, who was Ortrud, and Lawrence Tibbett, who was Telramund.

For the second time this week a tenor's identity has involved Miss Easton in three acts of majestic singing and acting. On both occasions the tenor was quite worth the trouble. As Turandot she sang like a true daughter of heaven and acted like the true daughter of this world. Turandot was .., while Edward Johnson gave a performance which justified John McCormack's recently published enthusiasms. In her first appearance here as Elsa, Miss Easton proved what nobody doubted - she is worthy to appear with probably the best Wagnerian tenor in America today.

Mr. Kirchhoff sang with a lyric beauty of extraordinary quality, and with a power as rare. He endowed Lohengrin with dignity and grace and romance. This opera is probably identified in Atlanta's memory with very warm weather. Whether "Lohengrin" produces high temperatures or whether high temperatures produce "Lohengrin" is question for dispute, but Friday afternoon's audience found the auditorium close and very warm. After Atlanta has received its annual reminder that Wagner did not expect his listeners to intersperse his melodies with applause, the audience would have succumbed to the heat under less stimulating circumstances.

Lohengrin and Power

When Mr. Kirchhoff sang Lobegrin's narrative with a lyricism and a power seldom heard, the audience promptly and enthusiastically interrupted Giuseppe Bamboschek's orchestra and indicated a fraction of the admiration his superlative work inspired. The report of Mr. Kirchhoff's illness during the performance has been confirmed - a throat specialist was attending him during the intermissions, and his temperature was two degrees above normal. That handicap was not perceptible to the audience; and if he sings even better when he is well, the room for improvement must seem to the audience very small.

Miss Easton's Elsa was a womanly and spiritual performance of the first rank. This always amazing singer contrasted this role with the high declamatory music Turandot is allotted so strikingly and so deftty that memories of her singing Wednesday evening contributed more to the intrinsic beauty of her performances Friday afternoon.

Claussen as Ortrud

Miss Claussen is a familiar Ortrud - she sang the role here two years ago-but Friday afternoon she sang with a power and a perfection no one can remember for two years and her work seemed rare even to those who have heard her frequently. Her sinister interpretation, her direct and telling acting, combined with excellent vocal endowments produced a truly wonderful performance.

Mr. Tibbett sang Telramund for the first time anywhere, we are told. The role was his third important one of the week. He sang with his customary grace and feeling and with an ease to indicate a thorough comprehension of his role. William Gustafson sang King Henry with dignity and considerable vocal skill. His voice is still light, but he uses it with artistry and effectiveness. George Cehanovsky's youthful baritone promised an interesting performance of Mercutio on Saturday afternoon when he is to appear in "Romeo et Juliet." Mr. Bodanzky conducted the orchestra.

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