[Met Performance] CID:208870

Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, December 19, 1966

Lohengrin (528)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
James King

Ingrid Bjoner

Nell Rankin

Walter Berry

King Heinrich
John Macurdy

Sherrill Milnes

Dan Marek

Robert Schmorr

Gene Boucher

Ron Bottcher

Karl Böhm

Review 1:

Review of Harriett Johnson in the Post

James King Sings Lohengrin

Only in opera could a swan play a leading role. At least that's what it seems to be doing since the premiere of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of "Lohengrin" 12 days ago.

Talk about the enormous new bird projected on stage has eclipsed much else that is novel and fascinating in the late Wieland Wagner's design.

Last night the swan was joined by the young American tenor, James King, singing his first Lohengrin at the Met. Like Sandor Konya, who sang the first two performances, King never looked at the swan either, contrary to composer Wagner's own stage directions. He did, however, sing passionately with a color and feeling for the phrase which gave the music a rare lyrical beauty.

And some of my colleagues to the contrary, in a production which is symbolic and burgeoning with the lofty mood of Lohengrin's mystical origins and his supernatural powers - must such a being be bound by conventions.

The giant swan penetrates to every corner of the stage and eats into every heart.

King, while not yet enough of a true knight in song or interpretation, is by build and voice an ideal Lohengrin. He made an excellent debut, if still too timid in manner.

But he is a comer and this will be one of his best roles. It requires a bel canto style adapted to German traditions and this is the road King travels.

Conductor Karl Boehm makes the instrumental fabric incandescent. Orchestrally this is the most exciting "Lohengrin" within memory.

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