Lauritz Melchior as Parsifal

Lauritz Melchior Web

1936-1938

 

Mini-Bio-Timeline  Filmography  Bibliography Repertoire Photo Gallery  Selected Recordings

Performance Chronologies:

1890-1920   1920-1924   1924-1926   1926-1929   1929-1931 

1931-1933   1933-1935   1935-1936                    1938-1939

1939-1941   1941-1945   1945-1947   1948-1950   1950-1955

1956-1973

Warning! This performance chronology is very incomplete. It will be updated frequently. All information is subject to revision. Please bring factual or typographical errors to my attention so that they may be corrected as soon as possible. Thank you.


Metropolitan Opera Opening Nights (1936-37, 1937-38 seasons)--Covent Garden 1937 season--San Francisco Opera 1937 season--guest performances at Chicago Civic Opera--


21 December 1936
  • Met Opera Opening Night: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Rethberg, Flagstad, Thorborg. Sachse continues as stage director this season.
New York Times: "[Melchior's performance was] distinguished by unusually fine proportions and carefully devised contrasts, the more effective because of its fine simplicity and its merit of understatement....[However], it was not Mr. Melchior's night, so far as his vocal condition was concerned." (Downes, p. 33)

New York Herald Tribune: "[Act I was often sung with the requisite] warm exuberance and sensuous beauty and abundance [on Melchior's part]" (Gilman, p. 18)

Brooklyn Eagle: "Melchior displayed his usual dramatic ineptitude...and a voice that frequently sounded tired" (Haggin, p. 11)

New York Sun: "Mr. Melchior's Siegmund has not now to make itself welcome" (Henderson, p. 18)
23 December 1936
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, List, Flagstad, Thorborg
New York Times: "Mr. Melchior['s] art grows in sensibility and finesse of proportion...He grows more discreet in his employment of his voice and in the balances he achieves with the voice of Isolde....There is a period in an artist's career when he conquers by sheer physical exuberance a wealth of tone and impulsive emotion. There comes a deeper period when a minimum of physical effort results in a maximum of meaning, and the unfoldment of subtle qualities ignored in an early period. Mr. Melchior has reached this stage...[which] is the wise preparation to the terrific demands of the final scene, to which he gives such meaning and pathos." (Downes, p. 22)

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior sang with a lavish outpouring of his opulent voice; and so the tumultuous duos in the first and second acts swept through the opera house with an overmastering surge of passionate beauty." (Gilman, p. 10)

Brooklyn Eagle: "Melchoir [sic] sang with no trace of the fatigue of Monday's performance" (Haggin, p. 7)

New York Sun: "In the trying scene immediately following the drinking of the love potion [Mme. Flagstad] and Mr. Melchior and Mr. Bodanzky created a "stimmung" of the most moving kind....There was another climax of indescribable feeling in the second act from the moment of Tristan's despairing utterance, "O Koening, das kann ich dir nicht sagen," to the moment of the assault of Melot....[Melchior's] noble Tristan [is] the best the Metropolitan has known since Jean de Reszke" (Henderson, p. 6)
27 December 1936
  • RADIO: Ford Sunday Evening Hour. CBS. Melchior is soloist, José Iturbi conductor. Melchior sings excerpts from Siegfried and two songs by Richard Strauss.
29 December 1936
  • Met. Opera in Brooklyn, NY: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Rethberg, Flagstad, Thorborg.
Brooklyn Eagle: "in much better voice than at the Manhattan opening" (Haggin, p. 15)


1937

2 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde.  Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Flagstad, Thorborg BROADCAST
New York Sun: "Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior held in thrall by the beauty of their singing the great audience" (Thompson, p. 20)
4 January 1937
  • RADIO: Melchior appears on Richard Crooks' show??
8 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Hofmann, Flagstad, Lawrence, Thorborg.
New York Times: "Mr. Melchior was in fine voice, a stirring Siegmund." (Taubman, p. 20)

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior was in his best voice in a strongly dramatic representation of Siegmund." (Perkins, p. 10)

New York Sun: "Mr. Melchior was at his resonant best in [the last part of Act I], singing freely, fervidly, and, in the naming of "Nothung!" with the stirring accents of the true heldentenor." (Thompson, p. 14)
10 January 1937
  • Concert/RADIO: Hartford, Connecticut, General Motors conducted by Erno Rapee.  Lauritz Melchior sings excerpts from Rienzi and Walküre as well as songs by Richard Strauss, Frank Bridge, Bartlett, and Grieg.

Hartford Courant: "Mr. Melchior...was given every show of enthusiasm, even to scattered 'bravos.'  He stood upon the stage...as heroic to look at as to hear....[He] recreated the Wagnerian moods and scenes vividly as upon the fully set operatic stage.  One who can conjure up through voice alone such puissant drama and express it in line after line of great, swelling phrases, has no need of sets or costumes....Those rafter ringing final notes...will be long remembered here for their blazing power, musically and in character projection.....Four songs...also won the singer the heartiest approbation of his listeners" (p. 7).

11 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, Hoffman, Cehanovsky, Flagstad, Lawrence.
New York Times: "Lauritz Melchior sang Lohengrin with amplitude of voice and, at the same time, with a wealth of shading. His first-act costume was effective, but in the third act his white robe made him seem even bulkier than he is." (Taubman, p. 19)

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior was in very good voice, except for an occasional tendency to overstress certain prolonged top notes." (p. 13)
16 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Lehmann, Lawrence, Thorborg. BROADCAST
New York Times: "Mr. Melchior has seldom sung more gloriously than he did in [Act I]...appear[ing] to draw fresh power from the collaboration of Mme. Lehmann." (Downes, p. 45)

New York Sun: "Mr. Melchior as Siegmund was in particularly good form and the great duet of the first act aroused the audience to a demonstration of enthusiasm after the fall of the curtain." (p. 24)
19 January 1937
  • Recital: Brooklyn Academy of Music. Accompanist is Lloyd Strafford. Selections from Frode, Lohengrin and Die Walküre, assorted art songs and lieder by Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Grieg, Jordan, Sjöberg, Hannikainen, Bridge, La Forge.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle: "One of the memorable occasions of last season was [Melchior's appearance at Brooklyn Academy of Music]....One was suddenly confronted by evidence-in the form of phrasing of the utmost delicacy and subtlety in vocal coloring and rhythm-of the fact that Mr. Melchior was a superb lieder singer....[This time,] he began with an aria [from Bechgaard's Frode]...in which his voice displayed its Wagnerian power....[In the Scandinavian songs] there was vocal coloring of ravishing delicacy. But it was in the group of German songs...that he revealed resources of emotion, in addition to magnificence and splendor of voice, which were tremendously exciting. This was particularly true of the...Strauss." (B.H. Haggin, p. 12)
20 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Flagstad, Thorborg.
New York Sun: "Mme. Flagstad and Mr. Melchior were in particularly good voice" (Thompson, p. 29)
22 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Siegfried. Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Schorr, Habich, List, Andreva, Thorborg, Flagstad [role debut]. (Note: for this performance, "less was cut" from the score than usual for evening performances)
New York Times: "He was not in the best voice. But the interpretation had its native fire, authority and mastery of detail." (Downes, p. 12)

New York Herald Tribune
: "Mr. Melchior's exuberant hero" had its "familiar excellence" (Gilman, p. 9)

New York Sun
: "Lauritz Melchior's bulky form gave verisimilitude to the portrait of the young Volsung....In the last scene the tenor attained a poignancy and tenderness of utterance above even his best....[the two principals] made the final scene what it should be, the climax of a drama of youth and love" (Henderson, p. 7)
23 January 1937
  • Recital: McMillin Academic Theatre, Columbia University, New York. (8:30 PM)
24 January 1937
  • RADIO: "Magic Key" Symphony Orchestra, Frank Black, conductor, Lauritz Melchior, tenor, Lucille Manners, soprano, Andres Segovia, guitarist. Noble Orchestra.
26 January 1937
  • Met. Opera in Philadelphia: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Flagstad, Lawrence, Thorborg.
Philadelphia Inquirer: "[Melchior's Siegmund is] a stalwart, sturdy hero, emotionally eloquent, and sung with moving quality....Those who have suggested that Wagner is on the wane, might profitably have listened to the applause that brought Mme. Flagstad and Mr. Melchior before the Academy's red velvet curtain time and time again after [the end of Act I] ....Not in recent seasons, at least, has it been given with such sweep and power" (Martin, p. 4)
29 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Habich, Hoffman, Huehn, Flagstad, Lawrence.
30 January 1937
  • Met. Opera: Siegfried. See 22 Jan 1937. BROADCAST
"Mr. Melchior surpassed himself in the title role.  I have not known him to suggest more tellingly the rich exuberance and lusty humor of Wagner's brusque Apollo of the woods. Nor have I heard him deliver the music more beautifully, or with truer insight into the significance of its different phases. His "Heiliges Weib!" after the despairing, repeated "Erwarche!" unheard by the mysterious sleeper underneath the tree, was a searching utterance of the mood of awe and adoration that falls upon the moment and the music." (Gilman, New York Herald Tribune)
1 February 1937
 
  • 1. Recital: Mrs. Lawrence Townsend's 96th "Musical Morning," Mayflower Hotel, Washington DC. A a joint recital with Melchior and contralto Gertrud Wettergren. Melchior sings 'In Fernem Land" and songs by Schubert, Richard Strauss, Heise, Grieg, Bechgaard, and Jordan. Melchior's Washington debut.
Washington Post: "In stature a modern avatar of the traditional Viking, he carries all before him by the sheer energy of his presence. His robust voice, a supple organ for all its amplitude, has surprising delicacies in pianissimo, and a remarkable range....his control of dynamics is admirable...." (R. C. C. Brown, pg. 6)

2. Met Opera: Tristan und Isolde. See 20 Jan 1937.

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior sang with the plenitude of noble and heroic tones to which he has accustomed us; but also, at times, with an almost disembodied exaltation that lifted his singing into the great mood of consecrational ecstasy which is the music's other voice." (Gilman)

New York Sun: "fervent" (p. 19)

3 February 1937
  • Met. Opera: Walküre. Melchior, List, Schorr, Rethberg, Ruenger [Met debut], Thorborg.
New York Times: "Neither Mr. Melchior nor Mme. Rethberg were in their best voice...Mr. Melchior...strolled onto the mountain top in the scene of the duel, dangling the sword [seemingly] nonchalantly [as if to say]..."lets get it over with" (Downes, p. 16)

New York Sun:  "[The] influence
[of Rethberg's "tired" performance] doubtless fell upon Mr. Melchior, whose Siegmund was decidedly matter of fact all through the revelation of his relationship with Sieglinde and the paroclamation of their sudden passion." (Henderson, p. 27)
5 February 1937
  • Met. Opera: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, Hoffman, Cehanovsky, Rethberg, Lawrence.
6 February 1937
  • RADIO: 8 PM; Lauritz Melchior on "Saturday Night Party," also with actor Reginald Gardiner
14 February 1937
  • Met Concert: Melchior performs "In Fernem Land." Conductor, Wilfred Pelletier.
17 February 1937
  • Met. Opera: Walküre (unabridged Ring). Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Rethberg, Flagstad, Branzell
New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior was at a new high, even for him, in the piercing sorrow of his lamentation, in the Second Act, over his betrayal by "him who had bestowed the sword." (Gilman, p. 15)
19 February 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Flagstad, Branzell
New York Herald Tribune: "Mme. Flagstad and Mr. Melchior sang the title roles with the surpassing eloquence and beauty which have already made the Metropolitan's "Tristan" performances historic."  (p. 9)
20 February 1937
  • Special Appearance, Carnegie Hall: flood relief concert by members of American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA): besides Melchior, Tibbett, Rethberg, Flagstad, Lehmann, etc.
22 February 1937
  • Met. Opera: Siegfried (unabridged Ring). Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Schorr, Habich, List, Andreva, Branzell, Flagstad
New York Times: "Lauritz Melchior sings the music with a youthful fire and feeling which convey the spirit as well as the letter of the opera....Mr. Melchior's forge scene is more than a tenor solo. It is the vocal realizement of the moment and the development is consistent to the instant of the defiance of Wotan and the breaking of the spear." (Downes, p. 24)

New York Herald Tribune
: "Mr. Melchior, resisting any temptation that he might have felt to overact, achieved a Siegfried that was buoyant, tender, awestruck, exultant; that was sung with finesse and sensibility as well as with heroic gusto and stride and power." (Gilman, p. 14)

New York Sun
: "Mr. Melchior was at the peak of his song and his delineation of the discovery of passion by the young Volsung, a passion restrained by reverence for the mystery of the unknown sex, was a dramatic triumph. In the first act, however, in which none of this is yet experienced, there was an abundance of spirit and adventure." (Henderson, p. 18)
25 February 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Habich, Hofmann, Flagstad, Branzell
2 March 1937
  • Met. Opera: Götterdämmerung (unabridged Ring). Bodanzky. Melchior, Schorr, Hofmann, Habich, Flagstad, Branzell, Manski

    New York Herald Tribune:
    "Mr. Melchior, in the climactic moments of the Narrative and Death Scene, was akin to [Flagstad] in eloquence" (Gilman, p. 18)

New York Sun: "The dramatic climax of the performance [was Siegfried's Narrative and Death on account]...of the art of the leading singer...[which] raised [it] to the full level of its majesty. Mr. Melchior's Siegfried was a consistently planned and executed portrayal from beginning to end. The singer was able to sing the music adequately and with persisting beauty of tone and revelatory nuance.  The present writer has heard no delivery of the narrative of "aus meinem jungen Tagen" of such absorbing character since that of Jean de Reszke. There was a distinct difference in approach. Mr. de Reszke's version was remarkable because of the astonishing ease and grace of its repetition of the bird music, a vocal tour de force in facile and flawless florid song. The soprano bird never sang it as well as he did. Mr. Melchior also sang this passage beautifully, but his version won its hearers by exceptional variety and significance of elocutionary detail.  It was dramatized with masterly insight and skill and communicated to the audience with an illusion of story-telling, certain to hold the listener breathless. The singing of the last words ["Bruennhilde, Heilige Braut,"] was profoundly moving, the utterance of a truly great Wagner singer."  (Henderson, p 33)

New York Times: "Mr. Melchior's Siegfried is equal not only to the passages of the exultant hero of the first act, but also the farewell utterances of the tragic victim of fate" (Downes, p. 28)

4 March 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. See 19 Feb 1937.
10 March 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, List, Flagstad, Branzell.
New York Herald Tribune: "in excellent voice" (p. 14)

New York Sun: "superlative" (Kolodin, p. 18)
13 March 1937
  • Met. Opera: Siegfried. Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Hofmann, Habich, List, Andreva, Doe, Flagstad
16 March 1937
  • Met. Opera in Hartford, Connecticut: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, Hofmann, Schorr, Rethberg, Flagstad, Branzell.

Hartford Courant: "Mr. Melchior, not exactly the dashing type of hero, yet made of Siegmund considerably more than a large man dressed in grotesque habiliments by the sheer versatility of his vocal talents, painting his emotional contrasts in glowing, expressive tone rather than the empty gestures which make a mockery of so many opera stars' attempts at acting" (Wesley S. Griswold, p. 1).

19 March 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tannhäuser. Abravanel. Melchior, Schorr, Hofmann, Branzell, Lehmann
23 March 1937
  • Met. Opera in Philadelphia: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Cehanovsky, Flagstad, Ruenger.
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Lauritz Melchior was robust vocally and visually in the title role....he was in good voice throughout the evening." (Martin, p. 17)
26 March 1937
  • Met. Opera: Parsifal. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Habich, Wolfe, Flagstad.

New York Sun: "His interrelation of vocal quality and dramatic meaning becomes progressively more secure, and the evolution of Parsifal's character is not enforced more by changes of garb and facial appearance than it is by Mr. Melchior's contrasting voice colors for the jaunty rejoinders to Gurnemanz in the first act, the pealing "Amfortas" in the second, the spiritualized tones of the third." (Kolodin)

New York Herald Tribune
: "Mr. Melchior did some expressive singing" (Bohm, p. 11)

29 March 1937
  • Met. Opera in Baltimore, Maryland: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, List, Gabor, Flagstad, Branzell.
1 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Boston: Tristan und Isolde. See 10 March 1937.
5 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Boston: Walküre. See 17 Feb 1937.
7 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Boston: Siegfried. Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Schorr, Habich, List, Andreva, Doe, Flagstad
9 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Boston: Götterdämmerung. Bodanzky. Melchior, Schorr, List, Habich, Flagstad, Branzell, Manski
11 April 1937
  • RADIO: "Magic Key" NBC from New York
13 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Cleveland, Ohio: Tristan und Isolde. See 10 March 1937. During the Met's trip to Cleveland, the Richard Wagner society of that city gives a banquet for Melchior.
16 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Cleveland: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, List, Cehanovsky, Flagstad, Branzell.
19 April 1937
  • Met. Opera in Rochester, NY: Lohengrin. See 16 April 1937. This is the last of Melchior's 35 opera performances for the Met this season.
27 April 1937
  • Recording session, RCA Victor. Lieder. Ignace Strasfogel is accompanist.
28 April 1937
  • RADIO: "Hit Parade", Lauritz Melchior, guest
1 May 1937
  • RADIO: Joe Cook's show.
9 May 1937
  • Concert: Cincinnati. Eugene Goosens. Melchior sings excerpts of Götterdämmerung with Flagstad and Lohengrin with Rethberg at Cincinnati "May Festival."
13 May 1937
  • Concert: Ann Arbor, MI. Eugene Ormandy. Melchior sings scenes from Parsifal, Meistersinger, and Siegfried at the University of Michigan's May Festival.
15 May 1937
  • RADIO: Melchior sings during a broadcast tribute to Denmark's King Christian. The previous day, Melchior had attended a reception in honor of Danish King Christian X's Silver Jubilee at the home of Gustaf Brock on Riverside Drive (New York), and appeared a New York service for the King, which was a benefit for Danish-American archives and the American library in Denmark.
15 May 1937-Melchior leaves for Europe on the Europa; Flagstad is also on board.  

From the United States to England

28 May 1937
  • Covent Garden: Siegfried. Wilhelm Furtwängler. Melchior, Zimmermann, Bockelmann, Fuchs, Easton, Andreva, Furmedge, Flagstad.

    Times: "Melchior returned to Covent Garden last night to take the part of Siegfried...a part he has sung so often and so well that London opera-goers are apt to feel that a cycle of the Ring is incomplete without him. He was welcomed with great enthusiasm...[and] on this occasion he gave something beyond the stalwart singing which carries a long and exacting role through in unfaltering style. There was a greater variety of tone, a warmer thrill in his climaxes, a subtler intimacy in those musings on parentage with which the young Siegfried solaces his loneliness, a deeper tenderness in his approach to Brünnhilde" (p. 12).
1 June 1937
  • Covent Garden: Götterdämmerung. Furtwängler. Melchior, Janssen, Weber, Fuchs, Flagstad, Thorborg, Nezadal  

Times: "Mr. Melchior's Siegfried for all its familiarity came up fresh, and, almost it would seem, dramatically clearer than ever" (p. 14).
(RADIO: Act III was broadcast)

14 June 1937
  • Covent Garden: Tristan und Isolde. Sir Thomas Beecham. Melchior, Janssen, Nilsson, Leider, Klose.

    Times: "Melchior's Tristan [has the] virtue [of] unflagging energy throughout the evening and the very real effect of tragedy which it achieves in the third act, in spite of a sometimes too realistic assumption of a sick man's lack of resonance" (p. 14).

17 June 1937
  • Special Appearance: Melchior is one of the artists in the musical program for Sir Louis Sterling in London.
18 June 1937
  • Covent Garden: Tristan und Isolde. Same cast/conductor as 14 June 1937.
22 June 1937
  • Covent Garden: Tristan und Isolde. Beecham. Melchior, Schoeffler, Nilsson, Leider, Branzell

RETURN TO TOP

[To Germany]

To Denmark

28 September 1937
  • Copenhagen Royal Opera, Walküre
 

To Germany

Lauritz Melchior with his children ca. 1937
Lauritz Melchior poses in the late 1930's
with his wife and his two teenage children
from his first marriage, Birte and Ib.

From Germany to the United States

8-14 October 1937- Melchior sails from Bremen to New York on the ocean liner Europa. Lotte Lehmann is among the other passengers.
 
15 October 1937-A.W.A., a woman's club patronizing the Met, will have Melchior and Lehmann as their guests at 5 P.M. (New York City)
 
17 October 1937
  • RADIO: Ford Symphony. Melchior will broadcast from Detroit with José Iturbi as conductor, singing Wagner, Grieg, and Strauss.
25, 31 October 1937
  • San Francisco Opera: Tristan und Isolde.  Fritz Reiner. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Flagstad, Meisle
5, 11  November 1937
  • San Francisco Opera: Lohengrin. Reiner. Melchior, Huehn, Hoffman, Cehanovsky, Flagstad, Meisle.
15 November 1937
  • San Francisco Opera [at Shrine Auditorium, LA]: Tristan und Isolde. Reiner. Melchior, Huehn, List, Flagstad, Meisle. During their stay in Los Angeles, the Melchiors stay with Mr. and Mrs. Jean Hersholt.

Los Angeles Times: "A noble Tristan" (Isabel Morse Jones)

17 November 1937
  • Recital: Claremont College, CA. Melchior's program includes Scandinavian songs, songs by Schubert, Strauss, Trunk, Hildach, Bridge, La Forge, Hageman, excerpts from Wagner and "Amor ti vieta" from Giordano's Fedora
19 November 1937
  • San Francisco Opera [at Shrine Auditorium, LA]: Lohengrin. See 5/11 November 1937.
November 1937
  • Recital: Pasadena, CA
24 November 1937
  • Chicago Civic Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Henry Weber. Melchior, Czaplicki, List, Flagstad, Wettergren.
27 November 1937
  • Chicago Civic Opera: Tannhäuser. Weber. Melchior, Czaplicki, Borromeo, La Mance, Flagstad
29 November 1937
  • Met opening night: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, List, Flagstad, Thorborg.  

"Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior wore the same old clothes at the opera last night...but they were clad in the...splendor of their art....Melchior was even a little better than himself-a man of presence who...always finds new beauty and a more effective restraint [in each successive performance of the role]." (John Chapman, New York Daily News)

New York Times: "Mr. Melchior's fine grained, and tragical picture of Tristan. He has seldom sung with such warmth and such continence, with such restraint, and, as a result, such convincing effect. The entrance is one for a tragedian of the first order. Mr. Melchior established and maintained the mood, and was masterful in his pantomime in the perilous moment of the taking of the love potion, when tragedy may so easily fall from the sublime to the ridiculous. In the same way he took part in the great duet of the second act, which was romance and illusion throughout because of its intimate and subdued scale of values-after the first rapturous outbursts-and in the way that very gradually the ecstatic curve of the love duet mounted, to the moment of the entrance of Mark and his courtiers." (Downes, p. 21)

New York Herald Tribune: "Unchallenged and commanding...he sang with opulent beauty and vitality of tone, and with cumulative passion and intensity." (Gilman, p. 15)

3 December 1937
  • Chicago Civic Opera: Walküre. Henry Weber. Melchior, List, Hofmann, Traubel, Flagstad, Wettergren.

Chicago Tribune: "Melchior's work last evening was so choppy and disconnected, so rich in sudden accents and startling variations between loud and soft that his legion of admirers must have had a difficult time enjoying to the full the round, hornlike quality of his voice." (Edward Barry, p. 17)

5 December 1937
  • Recital: Chicago. Melchior and Elisabeth Rethberg give a joint recital. Accompanist is Frederick Schauwecker. Melchior sings songs by Scandinavian composers and Richard Strauss solo, and the bridal scene from Lohengrin with Rethberg.

    Chicago Daily Tribune: "Melchior sang with such artistic integrity that any comment upon the increasingly odd quality of his voice-especially his husky pianissimo-is really extraneous. He knows how to shape a phrase, how to build a climax, and how to make a compelling unity out of each song. Since his American career has been almost exclusively concerned with Wagnerian opera, it was something of a revelation to discover that his less pretentious undertakings are illumined by the same musical insight and maturity of style." (Cecil Smith, p. 16)
10 December 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Schorr, Hofmann, Flagstad, Thorborg.
12 December 1937
  • RADIO: Melchior is on "Variety Hour" over WJZ 2-3 PM; he sings Wagner excerpts, including those from Lohengrin.
13 December 1937
  • Chicago Civic Opera: Tristan und Isolde. See 24 November 1937.

    Chicago Daily Tribune: "The two 'Tristan' performances represent the summit of the Chicago City Opera Company's achievement up to this time" (Cecil Smith, p. 19).
15 December 1937-Melchior attends the Metropolitan Opera Guild Campaign luncheon in New York.  
18 December 1937
  • Met. Opera: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, Hofmann, Schorr, Flagstad, Lawrence, Thorborg. BROADCAST
New York Times: "[A] heroic conception of Siegmund's part, shown in the first exchanges with Hunding when he enters his house; in the recital of the fight with the foes of the Walsungs, and in the lofty recitation of the scene with the Valkyrie in the second act...No wonder Bruennhilde was stirred. Yes! In the hardness of his lot, his dauntless acceptance of it, his defiance of the high gods and his fidelity of the one he loved beyond life and death, this Siegmund was a better man than his cocksure offspring ever dreamed of being!" (Downes, p. 45)

New York Sun
: "Mr. Melchior's impressive Siegmund has gained a range of detail it did not previously possess" (Kolodin, p. 30)
21 December 1937
  • Met. Opera in Philadelphia: Tristan und Isolde.  Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Flagstad, Wettergren.
Philadelphia Inquirer: "It was in the last act, even more than the torrential tide of the love music in the second act, that he reached his greatest heights of the evening....As he recreated the role on this occasion, it was newly illuminated by an ecstasy that was the more poignant because of its greater subtlety and restraint" (Martin, p. 3)
25 December 1937
  • Met. Opera: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Jessner [debut], Lawrence.
New York Times: "Mr. Melchior's Knight of the Grail...was portrayed with the vocal and histrionic resources that have come to be matters of expectation." (G.G., p. 36)
27 December 1937
  • Met. Opera: Tannhäuser. Bodanzky. Melchior, Schorr, Hofmann, Thorborg, Flagstad. (Melchior is replacing Hartmann; Rethberg replaces Melchior in his would-be broadcast in Philadelphia with Reiner)

New York Sun: Melchior's work was "typically sturdy", the association of Flagstad and Melchior resulting in "a performance of more than ordinary fervor and momentum." (Kolodin, p. 24)

New York Herald Tribune
: "Mr. Melchior was exceptionally well disposed. He voiced the music with uncommon intensity and penetrating insight and his acting disclosed an unwonted fervor." (Bohm, p. 12)

29 December 1937
  • Met. Opera: Walküre. See 18 Dec 1937.

 

1938

4 January 1938

  •  Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. See 29 Nov 1937.

11 January 1938

  • Recital, Carnegie Hall: with Lehmann. Strasfogel accompanies Melchior's solos and the duets. Melchior sings songs by Lambke, Grieg, Sibelius, Heise, Sjöberg, Trunk, Jordan, Schubert, Richard Strauss, Schumann duets with Lehmann; the two also sing from "Winterstürme" to the end of Act I of Die Walküre as well as "O Namenlose Freude" from Fidelio.

"Both artists were in notably good voice and both were prodigal in their expenditure of the generous resources at their command...["O Namenlose Freude"] was altogether stirring....Mr. Melchior's singing transcended anything that has been heard from him, apart from the opera. He has the skill of phrase, the ability to color his tone and the command of mezza-voce to make one forget that he was a transplanted Siegfried or Tristan....[In his song groups] he qualified as an interpreter of moods, remote from those of lyric drama, though the bright thrust of his upper tones, when used fortissimo, tended at time to overemphasize climactic notes or passages....The tenor created legitimate drama in "Der Doppelgaenger" and "Atlas" and gave such a stimulating account of "Heimliche Aufforderung" that the audience would have relished its repetition....[As for further songs, in] the steadiness and surety of his tone, in his ability to spin a phrase and in the excellence of his legato, Mr. Melchior proved that the singer of the big voice need not be an inferior vocalist to the one who makes a virtue of a lack of volume." (Sun, Oscar Thompson, p. 15, also Musical America, January 25)

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior sometimes showed a tendency to underscore unduly his climactic top notes, but his mezza-voce singing was notable for tone quality and vocal line, while he also displayed interpretative effectiveness....The deft and spirited interpretation of the swift exchanges of [the duet] "Unter'm Fenster" made its repetition well earned" (Perkins, p. 12)

13 January 1938

  • Met. Opera: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Cehanovsky, Flagstad, Lawrence.

NY Times:  "Melchior sang well, if not with too rich a tone quality.  His dignity, yea, complacency, were conspicuous." (Downes, p 20)

New York Sun: "Mr. Melchior was in exceptional voice and contributed a liberal amount of very superior singing" (Thompson, p. 25)

17 January 1938

  • Concert: Washington, DC.  Melchior sings at Mrs. Lawrence Townsend's musicale at the Mayflower Hotel. Strasfogel is accompanist. He sings "Rienzi's prayer", the "Prize Song," and song and lieder by Brahms, Richard Strauss, Hugo Wolf, Grieg, Lembke, Jordan, and Lange-Müller.

Washington Post: "Lauritz Melchior['s]...heroic tenor voice was in clarion condition....It was in the full rondure of voice that the distinguished tenor was at his best....In the softer passages of the lieder his tone was veiled and somewhat lacking in resonance, although his readings were emotionally moving" (p. X).

20 January 1938

  • Met. Opera: Siegfried. Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Schorr, Vogel, List, Bodanya, Meisle, Flagstad.

New York Sun: "Melchior [matched] Flagstad in the splendor of his singing throughout the ecstatic final pages of the concluding duet" (Thompson, p. 24)

22 January 1938

  • RADIO: Melchior sings on the Robert Ripley show this evening.

23 January 1938-Lauritz Melchior's father-in-law Carl Hacker, 64, dies in New York

  • Met Concert. Pelletier. Melchior performs songs by Jordan, Grieg, and Richard Strauss, in addition to "Winterstürme."

26 January 1938

  • 1. RADIO: Melchior discusses Tristan & Isolde for the Met Opera Guild at 3:45 PM.

    2. Met. Opera: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Cehanovsky, Flagstad, Branzell. 

New York Sun: "The evening reached its climax in a splendidly sung version of the bridal chamber scene; and Mr. Melchior's "Grail Narrative" was also magnificently delivered" (p. 11)

29 January 1938

  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, List, Flagstad, Wettergren.  BROADCAST

New York Sun: "in splendid voice" (p. 13)
30 January 1938
  • Special Appearance: Sing Sing Prison Auditorium, Ossining, NY. Melchior sings for 1,500 prisoners.
2 February 1938
  • Special Appearance: Recital. New York Institute for the Blind, Bronx. Leo Taubman. Songs by Lembke, Sjöberg, Grieg, La Forge, Hildach.

3 February 1938

  • Met. Opera: Tannhäuser. Abravanel. Melchior, Tibbett, Hofmann, Branzell, Jessner (last minute replacement for Lehmann) 

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior was in excellent voice and sang with exceptional fervor, after an unpromising first stanza of the Hymn to Venus, where his complete disregard for note values gave the harpist in the orchestra and the conductor, Mr. de Abravanel, some unhappy moments" (J.D. Bohm, p. 8)

New York Times
: "Lauritz Melchior...was especially impressive in the third-act monologue, given with fine understanding of its possibilities for dramatic effect. In the "Doch, sterblich, ach" his singing was so unaccountably unrhythmic that the harpist in the orchestra was unable to keep with him." (Straus, p. 16)

New York Sun
: "Lauritz Melchior began in a manner to imply vocal strain, but rose superbly to the climactic narrative of the last act....Who was right and who was wrong in the all-too-obvious disagreements of time which marred the hymn to Venus in the opening scene, may be left to the tenor and the conductor to determine off record" (Thompson, p. 21)

8 February 1938

  • Met. Opera in Hartford, CT: Tannhäuser. Abravanel. Melchior, Tibbett, List, Thorborg, Flagstad.

10 February 1938

  • Concert: Waldorf-Astoria, New York, NY. Melchior is soloist with Harlem Philharmonic Society.

13 February 1938

  • Concert/RADIO: Masonic Temple Auditorium, Detroit, MI. Reiner. Excerpts from Rienzi and Lohengrin.

15 February 1938

  • Met. Opera in Philadelphia: Siegfried. Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Hofmann, Vogel, List, Bodanya, Kaskas, Flagstad.

Philadelphia Inquirer: "The outstanding artist of today in the title role... Mr. Melchior was no less than magnificent, dramatically and vocally, in the forge scene, in the fight with Fafner, and in the awakening of Bruennhilde [by a "prolonged if pure kiss"], and the immediately ensuing love duet at the end of the opera (Martin, p. 11)

17 February 1938

  • Met. Opera: Walküre (unabridged Ring). Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Rethberg, Flagstad, Szantho

New York Herald Tribune: "The two lovers of the cast were sung by Mme. Rethberg and Mr. Melchior with the fervor and veraciousness to which they have accustomed us" (Gilman, p. 14)

New York Times
: "Mr Melchior's Siegmund is surcharged with the heroic but also tender nature of the part. He is one of the few who can really salute the drawing of the weapon from the tree in clarion tones, and it is the same man who puts so much meaning and passion into the scene with the Valkyrie, one of the greatest in opera." (Downes, p. 13)

New York Sun
: "Kirsten Flagstad as Bruennhilde and Lauritz Melchior as Siegmund fulfilled expectations by singing of a transcendent order in the scenes dominated by them....His singing of the "Winterstuerme" Lied and of the scene of the drawing of the sword maintained a level little short of the superb." (Thompson, p. 25)

19 February 1938

  • Met. Opera: Lohengrin. See 26 January 1938. BROADCAST

22 February 1938

  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Flagstad, Branzell.

24 February 1938

  • Met. Opera: Siegfried (unabridged Ring). Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Schorr, Vogel, List, Bodanya, Branzell, Flagstad.

    New York Times:
    "[Melchior's performance was] vocally eloquent and sensitively detailed, running the gamut of emotions from heroic and impassioned to tender or humorous with compelling ease and impressiveness" (Straus, p 14)

  • New York Sun: "Little short of miraculous was the singing of Kirsten Flagstad and Lauritz Melchior throughout the final scene....In sheer splendor of tone and depth of emotional communication this was a supreme experience" (Thompson, p. 27)

26 February 1938-RADIO: Melchior is speaker on "Stamp Collector's Program" 4PM, WEAF.

 

27 February 1938

  • Concert, Waldorf Astoria, New York, NY. Fritz Reiner conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra in Walküre acts I and III, with Melchior, Florence Easton, Stückgold, and Hofmann and a "Walküren chorus" from the Curtis Institute.

28 February 1938

  • Concert/RADIO: Philadelphia Academy of Music, with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Charles O'Connell.

[February 1938]-Melchior and Karin Branzell attend tea at Met opera patron Mrs. Davenport West's.


1 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Götterdämmerung (unabridged Ring). Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Vogel, Flagstad, Branzell, Jessner

New York Times: "Mr. Melchior in his song encompasses all that the score entails, and that means singing that is equally emotional and heroic, and that comes to its climax in the glory and the pathos of the [death] scene." (Downes, p. 17)

4 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, List, Flagstad, Branzell. 

6 March 1938

  • Concert: Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY. Melchior, Manski. Accompanist: Taubman.

Poughkeepsie Eagle-News: "Mr. Melchior in his consumate artistry in every offering was as radiant as the Holy grail he so often sings about....The effortless quality of his singing, his flawless control in sustained high register and in passages hardly above a whisper, his resonance of tone, and interpretation of mood, all were compelling. It is difficult to pick out an outstanding presentation, because each one served to bring out some new phase of his all-round skill. In his duet with Mme. Manski, the finale of Act I of Wagner's Die Walkuere, his dynamic capabilities asserted themselves, while in an almost diametrically opposite type of selection, Grieg's "I Love You," he fairly exuded warmth [it "was soothing under his sensitive execution"]....Alongside of the sincerity and personality of Mr. Melchior, [Mme. Manski] seemed mechanical.  Unquestionably, the duet was the highlight of the program.... "Heimliche Aufforderung"] displayed the singer's complete aplomb in the upper reaches, while ["Traum Durch die Dämmerung"] called for gentle treatment....[There were two additional encores]" (H.A.)

Poughkeepsie Star-Enterprise: "Melchior gave a superb concert, reaching a mighty climax when he teamed with Manski to give Wagner's duet in the Finale of Act I of "Die Walkure," that great surge of emotion.....Somewhat uncertain and nervous in her earlier numbers, Madame Manski ably supplemented the soaring voice of the tenor in the emotional piece. Melchior, evidently pleased with his audience, captivated it quickly....Melchior repeated [Hugo Wolf's "Ein Standchen"] in answer to thunderous applause....[the singers and accompanist returned for] many curtain calls" (A.F.W., p. 9)

7 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Götterdämmerung. Bodanzky. Melchior, Schorr, Hofmann, Vogel, Flagstad, Branzell, Jessner

New York Sun: "Lauritz Melchior delivered Siegfried's music with splendid vigor and vocal resourcefulness." (Kolodin, p. 17)

10 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Walküre. Leinsdorf. Melchior, List, Hofmann, Rethberg, Flagstad, Branzell

New York Sun: "The splendid Siegmund of Lauritz Melchior was a substantial contribution [to the "Announcement of Death" scene]. Through the evening, Mr. Melchior sang with exceptional vocal fervor and dramatic conviction." (Kolodin, p. 27)

12 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Siegfried. Bodanzky. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Hofmann, Vogel, List, Bodanya, Doe, Flagstad.


[12 March 1938: Germany 'annexes' Austria]


RETURN TO TOP

15 March 1938                        

  • Recital: Mosque Theater, Newark, NJ. Melchior and Lehmann perform a dual recital. Together they sing three Schumann duets and the end of Act I, Walküre ("Winterstürme" onwards). Melchior sings lieder by Schubert, Strauss, Grieg and Sibelius accompanied by Strasfogel.

16 March 1938

  • Met. Opera in Philadelphia: Tristan und Isolde. See 22 Feb 1938.

18 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Parsifal. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Vogel, Wolfe, Flagstad

  • New York Times: "It has preeminently the stamp of authority and understanding, if also of heftiness." (Downes, p. 11)

    New York Sun:
    "The Parsifal of Lauritz Melchior must be considered among the notable impersonations of the lyric theatre of the day....[especially good] in the cry of "Amfortas"....[and] in the tenderness and exaltation of the anointing of Kundry."  (Thompson, p. 30, also Musical America, April 10)

19 March 1938

  • Met. Opera: Götterdämmerung. Bodanzky. Melchior, Huehn, Hofmann, Vogel, Lawrence, Branzell, Manski.

New York Sun: "Despite his Tristan and Parsifal of the preceding three days, Lauritz Melchior offered some of his finest singing of the year" (p. 13)

21 March 1938

  • Met. Opera in Baltimore, Maryland: Tannhäuser. Leinsdorf. Melchior, Huehn, List, Branzell, Flagstad.

23 March 1938
  • Recital: College Memorial Chapel, Union College, Schenectady, NY. Accompanist: Strasfogel.
Schenectady Gazette: "A marvelous concert....Mr. Melchior, when not in the far regions of great song, preserved a most friendly attitude towards his pleased audience....[His] tenor [was] splendid and appealing.....It is rather a revelation to know, through actual hearing, that one who is usually thought of as the great Wagnerian, is also a great singer of songs....he gives them full value, rousing the feeling of spring [in "Majsang"]...or the serene beauty of "A Swan"....Strange and rather ominous, as the darker tones of the powerful voice brought it out, "Black Roses" by Sibelius, was one of the numbers which gave most listeners a new experience, an insight into something awesome and new. Delicacy and lyrical beauty were expressed [in "Tonerna"]....The encore added to this group was "I Love You," Grieg.....There were two Schubert songs in the program and that terrifying shadow "Der Doppelgaenger" was one of the songs in which Mr. Melchior's abilities to contrast color effects was most striking. It was both beautiful and terrifying and the dramatic art of the singer's expression left no thought of the elegance of technique which made it possible.....Frank La Forge's "Into the Light," with its brilliant coloring and long last note [was] most memorable. But thinking of the display of sustained tone, though nothing is ever apparently done for effect by this singer, we remember the closing phrase of "First Ray" by Richard Turk [sic], a marvelous exhibition of voice control but so easy that it was velvety and easy to the end. And then, as an encore Mr. Melchior in the most tender pianissimos sang the touching "Do Not Go My Love.".....Mr. Melchior sang three songs by Richard Strauss, again revealing the composer's thoughts and style with the most expressive significance in every phrase.....Most gratefully his guests heard him in the inspiring grail song from "Lohengrin, and again with dramatic effect and thrilling vocal beauty [Siegmund's Spring Song]...There were also two encores, an aria from "Fedora" and the favorite song to the star. Mr. Melchior waved good-bye and the audience rose in appreciation" (p. 12)

25 March 1938

  • Met. Opera in Boston: Tristan und Isolde. See 4 March 1938.

28 March 1938

  • Met. Opera in Boston: Parsifal. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Gabor, Cordon, Flagstad.

30 March 1938

  • Met. Opera in Boston: Walküre. Bodanzky. Melchior, List, Schorr, Rethberg, Flagstad, Melchior.

[March 1938]

  • Concert (scheduled): Montreal

2 April 1938

  • Met. Opera in Boston: Lohengrin. Abravanel. Melchior, Huehn, List, Cehanovsky, Branzell, Flagstad

5 April 1938

  • Met. Opera in Cleveland, Ohio: Tristan und Isolde. See 4 March 1938.

8 April 1938

  • Met. Opera in Cleveland, Ohio: Tannhäuser. See 21 March 1938.

9 April 1938

  • RADIO, 10 PM: "Your Hit Parade." Selections from Tristan und Isolde.

11 April 1938
  • Recording sessions, RCA Victor: Lieder. Strasfogel is accompanist.

13 April 1938

  • Met. Opera: Parsifal. See 28 March 1938.

15 April 1938

  • Met. Opera: Parsifal. See 28 March 1938 (Leinsdorf conducted Act II) BROADCAST

New York Herald Tribune: "Mr. Melchior is at his finest in the embodiment of the Parsifal of this fulfilling act [III] -nothing that he gives us elsewhere is so profoundly felt, so sensitive as this; his singing and acting alike are scarcely to be overpraised." (Gilman, p. 9)

16 April 1938

  • Met. Opera: Tristan und Isolde. See 4 March 1938. BROADCAST

(fifteen minutes of applause at conclusion)

17 April 1938

  • Recording sessions, RCA Victor: Philadelphia Orchestra. Wagner excerpts. Ormandy conducting.

  • RADIO: 2 PM: Lauritz Melchior, Symphony Orchestra, Eva Le Gallienne, etc.

21 April 1938

  • Concert, Minneapolis, MN. Mitropoulis. Die Walküre, Act I. Melchior, List, Traubel.

27 April 1938

  • Concert: Melchior is scheduled to sing in Wichita, KS today.

29 April 1938

  • Concert: Milwaukee, WI.

From the United States to England

19 May 1938

  • Covent Garden: Lohengrin. Sir Thomas Beecham. Melchior, Herbert Janssen, Wilhelm Strienz, Maria Reining, Kerstin Thorborg.

Times: "Herr Melchior's Lohengrin was unusually robust, substituting a vigorous declamation for the honeyed cantilena that has come to be regarded as proper to the part. But there is a good deal to be said in favour of this manly presentation from the dramatic point of view, even though it means some sacrifice of musical beauty, especially in the matter of vocal line. Herr Melchior was in excellent voice and we have not heard him sing better" (pg. 14).

20 May 1938

  • Covent Garden: Walküre. Wilhelm Furtwängler. Melchior, Ludwig Weber, Rudolf Bockelmann, Hilde Konetzni, Anny Konetzni, Thorborg

Times: "Herr Melchior made a welcome return as Siegmund. His voice seems to be acquiring something of a baritone quality, though his prolonged cries to "Wälse" showed that that is not at the expense of power in the tenor range. His whole bearing, as well as his actual singing, depicts the hero" (p. 12).

24 May 1938

  • Covent Garden: Siegfried. Furtwängler. Melchior, Zimmermann, Bockelmann, Adolf Vogel, Strienz, Andreva, Furmedge, Anny Konetzni

Times: "Herr Melchior...has grown into the part, so that he seems to be Siegfried in person, so easy and natural is his stage demeanor. And his singing is true. But if he would sustain his phrases and not allow his words to destroy legato passages he would double his effectiveness" (p. 14.)

27 May 1938

  • Covent Garden: Götterdämmerung. Furtwängler. Melchior, Janssen, Weber, Vogel, Anny Konetzni, Thorborg, Anny von Stosch

    Times: "Herr Melchior's Siegfried has the merits of steadiness and unflagging vitality. It has grown, too, in dramatic subtlety. But there was insufficient lyrical singing and intrinsically beautiful tone. There is need for a less broken declamation, a firmer melodic line in such passages as his drinking of Gutrune's potion and his final narration" (p. 12).

31 May 1938

  • Special Appearance: Melchior and Thorborg sing at the Red Triangle Boys Club benefit in London in the presence of the Queen of England

1 June 1938

  • Covent Garden: Walküre. Furtwängler. Melchior, Wilhelm Schirp, Karl Kamann, Tiana Lemnitz [CG debut?], Frida Leider, Thorborg  (RADIO: Act II was broadcast)

3 June 1938

  • Covent Garden: Siegfried. Furtwängler. Melchior, Laufkoetter, Kamann, Vogel, Streinz, Andreva, Furmedge, Leider

7 June 1938

  • Covent Garden: Götterdämmerung. Furtwängler. Melchior, Janssen, Schirp, Leider, Thorborg, von Stosch. [Melchior's final performance with Leider]

(RADIO: Act II was broadcast)

To Belgium

July 1938

  • Concerts, Belgium.

To Denmark

3 August 1938

  • Concert, Copenhagen

To Sweden

5 August 1938

  • Recital, Tivoli, Stockholm, Sweden. This may have been Melchior's Stockholm debut (he performed opera in [Göteberg?] in the 1910s). Gunnar Ahlberg is his accompanist; Melchior's program includes excerpts from Lohengrin and Walküre, and songs by R. Strauss, Lembcke, Sjöberg, Jordan. He stays in Saltsjoebaden.

Aftonbladet: "Melchior's voice has very little of the smoothness and somewhat vague sweetness employed by Danish voices in general and tenors in particular. His voice...is secure all the way up to the very top and his singing is technically brilliant. He knows Wagner backwards and forwards by this time, but also combines understanding and feeling in a genuine and winning manner as a song interpreter: together this gives him the right to the title "Master Singer."  It was, above all, the Wagner and Strauss that captured his audience [last night]....Why has it taken 25 years of his triumphant career as an artist for Stockholm to make Melchior's acquaintance?" (p. 2)

From Sweden to Germany

19 September 1938

  • Recording session: HMV, Berlin. Melchior, having vacationed at his estate in Chossewitz, returns to Berlin to make a recording of a part of Walküre Act II conducted by Bruno Seidler-Winkler.

From Germany to the United States

27-6 October 1938-Melchior sails from Bremen to New York on the Europa; political uncertainty (the "Munich Conference") delays the ship by three days

 

8 October 1938
  • RADIO: "Hit Parade"
10 October 1938
  • Recital: Winnipeg, Manitoba


[15 October 1938: Germany occupies Sudetenland]


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