Cher Public

Twilight of the goddess

On this day in 1952, Kirsten Flagstad sang the title role in a new production of Gluck’s Alceste at the Metropolitan Opera. 

Louis Biancolli in the New York World-Telegram:

Mme. Flagstad was magnificent in every respect. The tragic, heroic legend of the wife prepared to give her life to save her husband’s was mirrored at every moment in gesture, word and note. There was dignity and the kind of touching simplicity which is truly noble. And her English diction was a noble music in itself.

I have no hesitation in saying that her singing was not only the best I have ever heard her do, but the best I have ever heard in my life. The three B-flats of the great aria addressed to the Stygian gods burst like bright stars. Control, breadth and golden, glowing tone were there all the time.