[Met Performance] CID:170720

Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, January 26, 1956

Lohengrin (504)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Brian Sullivan

Eleanor Steber

Margaret Harshaw

Walter Cassel

King Heinrich
Dezsö Ernster

Arthur Budney

Charles Anthony

James McCracken

Calvin Marsh

Louis Sgarro

Kurt Adler

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

There was a new Telramund for the season's fifth performance of Wagner's "Lohengrin" last night at the Metropolitan Opera House; this was Walter

Cassel, who had not sung the role before in New York. Kurt Adler conducted the work for the first time in this house, with Eleanor Steber again as Elsa, Brian Sullivan as Lohengrin and Margaret Harshaw as Ortrud, while Dezso Ernster replaced Otto Edelmann as King Henry.

Mr. Cassel had appeared as Telramund only once before, several years ago in San Antonio, but he gave every indication of knowing the role well and realized the character vocally and visually with a sense of distinct personality. His voice, generally well produced apart from an occasional impression of slight strain, conveyed Telramund's emotions with conviction and tonal firmness, particularly in his denunciation of Lohengrin in the second act; there was also passion and power to convince in his acting, although he moved about the stage rather excessively during his colloquy with Ortrud.

Miss Harshaw's Ortrud showed a gain over her season's first appearance in this role. An occasional hardness of tone was not amiss in her music; her singing had marked vividness of color, suggesting, as it should, an affirmation of evil designs which reaches a triumphant pitch when she challenges Elsa in regard to Lohengrin's identity. A contrast between Ortrud's assertive evil and Telramund's sense of being wronged were well brought out; the contrast of the vocal colors of the four protagonists was also appropriate.

Miss Steber's Elsa was again persuasive, vocally pleasing with some variations in tonal clarity; Mr. Sullivan was generally in his best vocal form and avoided the pomposity sometimes associated with Lohengrin. Mr. Ernster sang the King's music with dignified eloquence, and Arthur Budney fared commendably as the Herald. Judicious pacing and good vocal and instrumental balance marked the opera's course under Mr. Adler's discerning direction.

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