OP0975. SALOME, Live Performance, 8 Jan., 1955, w.Mitropoulos Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Christel Goltz, Blanche Thebom, Brian Sullivan, Paul Schöffler, etc. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0143. [This is one of the most astonishing live performances of SALOME in the 1950s. Christel Goltz is even more vibrant and stunning than she is on her commercial recording with Clemens Krauss from the same time period, while Mitropoulos is a virile, passionate conductor, capturing the events of this warm, moonlit night in ancient Judea with powerful mystery and intensity. The supporting cast is excellent!] - 4035122651430
"…Mitropoulos could lay claim to be the most viscerally exciting in the sense of catching [Salome’s] obsessions and neuroses. The conductor was much admired by players at the Met and they gave their all in a performance that seems to sweep along in a single rush of thrilling sound, no holds barred….Christel Goltz’s Judaean Princess is familiar from other performances on disc. Caught here in the theatre she is more intense….Paul Schöffler presents a firmly sung, formidable Jochanaan, his tone seemingly tireless."
- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Jan., 2006
“Soprano Christel Goltz was a discovery of conductor Karl Böhm and one of the leading dramatic sopranos of her generation who possessed a rich voice with a brilliant range and intensity. She was particularly associated with the operas of Richard Strauss, especially SALOME and ELEKTRA, and with contemporary operas. Before she became a singer, Goltz had been a dancer and was physically the antithesis of the typical operatic soprano: small, lithe, and energetic. Despite her diminutive stature, Goltz had a big voice that easily made it out to the farthest tier, and it is said that when the character Narraboth killed himself in Strauss' SALOME, that Goltz would leap over his dead body during the Dance of the Seven Veils. It was in dramatic rôles such as Salome and Elektra that Goltz made her mark, and by all accounts in performance she was extremely effective at them. The only sizable studio recordings she made -- SALOME with Clemens Krauss and ELEKTRA with Georg Solti -- were in such rôles. Early in her career, Goltz also created rôles in works of Carl Orff and Swiss composer Heinrich Sutermeister.
Born in Dortmund, she studied in Munich with Ornelli-Leeb and with Theodor Schenk, whom she later married. After singing small rôles, she made her official début in Fuerth, as Agathe, in 1935. She sang one season in Plauen, before joining the roster of principal sopranos at the Staatsoper Dresden through the invitation of Karl Böhm in 1936. She remained at that house until 1950. She began appearing at both the Berlin State Opera and the Stadtische Oper Berlin in 1947, and at the Munich State Opera and Vienna State Opera in 1950. Beginning in 1951, she also made guest appearances in Salzburg, Milan, Rome, Brussels, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, and sang at the Metropolitan Opera in 1954. Besides SALOME and ELEKTRA, her greatest successes included the title rôle in JENUFA, Marie in WOZZECK, Die Farberin in DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, Leonora in FIDELIO and Elettra in IDOMENEO. She created the title rôles in Carl Orff's ANTIGONE and Rolf Liebermann's PENELOPE. An intense singing-actress with a clear and powerful voice of great range, she also tackled a few Italian rôles, notably Turandot.”
- Ned Ludd
"In a field long dominated by Europeans, Ms. Thebom was part of the first midcentury wave of American opera singers to attain international careers. Associated with the Met from the mid-1940's to the mid-1960's, she was praised by critics for her warm voice, attentive phrasing and sensitive acting."
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 28 March, 2010
“Brian Sullivan was born on 9 August, 1912 in Oakland, California. He was an actor, known for Cavalcade of Stars (1949), The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) and Musical Comedy Time (1950).
A versatile, boyishly good-looking (in his younger days) tenor, he came from Broadway to spend fourteen seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, beginning with the title role in Benjamin Britten's PETER GRIMES in 1948. Other frequent roles with the company included Alfred in Johann Strauss II's DIE FLEDERMAUS, Tamino in Mozart's ZAUBERFLÖTE, Grigori in Mussorgsky's BORIS GODUNOV, and the title role in Wagner's LOHENGRIN. From what I can glean from the Internet and The Met Archives, Brian Sullivan sang in 162 performances at The Met, including his first performance as Peter Grimes 23 Feb., 1948, and ending with Alceste in 1961. He enjoyed an active career in the United States and Europe.
Brian Sullivan believed he had been engaged to sing in Wagner’s GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG in Switzerland. Apparently, he believed that he was contracted to star in the production but, in actuality, was just the understudy to the star, Claude Heater. When he failed to find an opportunity to sing in the production, Sullivan drowned himself on 17 June, 1969, as did Peter Grimes, a case of Life Imitating Art.”
- Lloyd L. Thoms Jr., Greenville, Wilmington, Delaware