Monday, 31 January 2011

Lotte Lehamnn in Tannhauser, Chicago 1930

This is the oldest American opera broadcast to exist, just under 5 minutes from the second act of Tannhauser. It was broadcast live from the Chicago Civic Opera on November 1, 1930 over the NBC Blue Network. This recording most probably originates from WJZ in New York City where the opera was broadcast from 10-11pm. This seems to be all that now exists, but it gives us a rare chance to hear Lotte Lehmann sing Elisabeth's Greeting at the start of act 2. This was Lehmann's first season in Chicago and the German soprano would later come to be a favourite of the Met opera in New York and the San Francisco Opera.  The performance was conducted by Egon Pollack and others that are briefly heard are Hans Hermann Nissen and Paul Althouse.

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