[Met Performance] CID:127060

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, December 2, 1939 Matinee Broadcast

Debut : Walter Olitzki

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (222)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Hans Sachs
Friedrich Schorr

Irene Jessner

Walther von Stolzing
Charles Kullman

Karin Branzell

Karl Laufkötter

Walter Olitzki [Debut]

Emanuel List

Herbert Janssen

Max Altglass

Louis D'Angelo

Nicholas Massue

Lodovico Oliviero

Giordano Paltrinieri

James Wolfe

John Gurney

Night Watchman/Ortel
George Cehanovsky

Erich Leinsdorf

Leopold Sachse

Set Designer
Hans Kautsky

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg received six performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Quaintance Eaton in Musical America

The first 'Die Meistersinger' of the season brought a capacity matinee house on the afternoon of Dec. 2, and furnished new material for consideration in the person of Walter Olitzki, who made his debut as Beckmesser, and Erich Leinsdorf, who conducted the Wagner "comedy" for the first time in the house. Another debut, that of Lodovico Oliviero as Moser, offered little opportunity for appraisal of the singer's gifts.

Mr. Leinsdorf, who has been called so suddenly to assume great and grave responsibilities, could not be expected to fulfill them immediately with the weight of mature experience which his predecessor displayed, but his youth, enthusiasm and his talent for holding large forces together creditably was everywhere evident in this performance. His tempos were almost invariably brisk, a fine thing for making an opera move, but occasionally a strain upon the singers, who probably would have appreciated a little more leeway. A tendency to let the brasses overblow and to bring the entire orchestra to tumultuous proportions, thus overwhelming the voices, will probably be restrained as his work goes on-at least one hopes so. On the whole, however, the performance merited the vote of confidence given the young conductor in each intermission.

The youthful nephew of the Rosa Olitzka of former Metropolitan fame displayed himself as a character actor of finesse, with many excellent bits of small business. Beckmesser can be so easily caricatured beyond true drawing, and Mr. Olitzki never erred in this respect. The complaining and futile suitor of Eva was, however, a little oldish to be credible.

Another new character was that of Kothner, which Mr. Janssen made a magnificent portrait, unctuous, condescending, pompous. All others were well known to the house. Mr. Schorr's Sachs was once again a dominating figure, sweet natured and imbued with the undertones of philosophy which make his personation so endearing. He sang unusually well, seldom forcing. Miss Jessner's Eva was in the picture, although her singing was not always impeccable. Mr. Kullmann, although vocally rather on the light side for Walther, used this very fact to make Walther once more a lyric being instead of an explosive one, a gratifying phenomenon. Miss Branzell, Mr. List and Mr. Laufkoetter played their accustomed parts well, as before. Chorus and ballet contributed zestfully to the brilliance of the mass scenes.

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