[Met Performance] CID:294260

New Production

Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, October 21, 1988

Debut : Joyce Guyer

Götterdämmerung (199)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Hildegard Behrens

Toni Krämer

Anthony Raffell

Kathryn Harries

Matti Salminen

Christa Ludwig

Franz Mazura

First Norn
Mignon Dunn

Second Norn
Hanna Schwarz

Third Norn
Marita Napier

Joyce Guyer [Debut]

Diane Kesling

Meredith Parsons (2)

Set & Projection Designer
Günther Schneider-Siemssen

James Levine

Otto Schenk

Costume Designer
Rolf Langenfass

Lighting Designer
Gil Wechsler

Götterdämmerung received nine performances this season.

Production gift of the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation
"Friends of the Ring" gift of Annie Laurie Aitken Charitable Fund

Review 1:

Review of Martin Mayer in Opera

"Götterdämmerung" should and will be reviewed in the context of the complete "Ring" cycle to be presented in the Spring. It continues, perhaps even more faithfully, the Schenk and Schneider-Siemssen devotion to the Bayreuth staging of 1897 as revealed in drawings and reports. As such, it is an entirely suitable frame for performances, and when one has superior performances the result is appropriately magical. We have two such: the most feminine Brünnhilde in my experience from Hildegard Behrens, very beautifully sung, and a massively dominating Hagen from Matti Salminen, one of the great characterizations I have ever seen at the Met. The contrast between his impassivity and the importunings of Franz Mazura's Alberich was a master-stroke. And, of course, we also have James Levine's intensely lyrical conception of the score, with a glorious duet in Act 1, a deeply felt Funeral March, and a splendidly Wagnerian noise throughout.

Toni Krämer was a hard-working but uninteresting Siegfried, while Anthony Raffell and Kathryn Harries as the Gibichungs were nothing more than well-bred English people who had unluckily fallen under the suzerainty of Salminen. The staging of the first Gibichung scene, however, was a great accomplishment by Schenk. The publisher Hans Heinsheimer, sitting behind me, made the appropriate comment: 'They moved,' he said, 'like chamber music.' Christa Ludwig, moving awkwardly on a twisted ankle the night of October 25, was vocally a spectacular Waltraute. Norns and Rhinemaidens were unremarkable. We ended with a lot of dämmerung, the foam rubber hall of the Gibichungs collapsing before our eyes while the cyclotronized Rhine overflowed and the fire roared at the rear of the stage. At the end, ordinary people in silhouette moved among the wreckage, starting again. I thought this simplest of symbolism worked fine.

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