Gounod's opera, too. He had, on this occasion, a worthy partner in Frau Plankensteiner-Wilt as Marguerite. She chirped in the love scene like a languishing grasshopper, and was, in fact, more amusing to hear than one had expected. Herr Udvardy may be a star in Königsberg, and Frau Plankensteiner-Wilt3well placed in Olmütz, but the boards of our opera house are too hot for those who have not survived a baptism of fire in another major theater. This is something the two guests might well have considered. More to the point, the management, in view of their utter inadequacy, should never have agreed to their appearance. Fortunately, Frau Paumgartner-Papier, the darling of our public, was the Siebel, and the golden tones of her sumptuous voice threw a transfiguring lustre upon poor Faust and poor Marguerite, rendered the more pitiable by the ghastly self-deception of the two guests.
und Isolde with
Sucher and Vogl
June 8, 1884
Frau Sucher1 from Hamburg and Herr Vogl2 from Munich as guests in our opera house -- that's something to hear! Vogl | bird | is well known by his song, and in Frau Sucher | searcher | we have long acknowledged a rich find. Elsa and Lohengrin were the debut roles of their engagement.
How lovely Elsa looked as she made her entrance! "Wie erschien sie so licht und rein!" 3 She was the embodiment of innocence personified. How noble and natural her movements, how chaste her bearing, how softly transfigured her features! Gone every trace of Frau Sucher, and in her stead -- Elsa!
The illusion, unfortunately, was not always sustained. The "Dream" was initially rapt and tender, despite a voice neither very mellow nor very pliant.