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Helen Traubel

American soprano Helen Traubel (1899-1972) was part of the golden age of Wagnerian singing at the Met in the 1940s. After Kirsten Flagstad returned to Norway in the spring of 1941 the burden of the heaviest Wagnerian roles (Brunnhilde and Isolde) fell on Traubel's shoulders. Her warm, burnished and seamless soprano met the challenge eagerly, and ensured that Wagner remained a major draw at the Met during the war and immediately afterwards. Aside from Tristan und Isolde, the radio audience heard her regularly in Lohengrin and in Die Walkure, but Siegfried and Gotterdammerung would not be broadcast until near the end of her career when her voice was past its best. Her easy going nature meant that she was the perfect partner for Lauritz Melchior and there are several complete Tristans featuring both of them. When Rudolf Bing became General Manager in 1950 Traubel's time was nearing its end, and it was clear that Bing favoured Flagstad's return. Unlike Melchior she remained at the Met under Bing but performed less and less, eventually retiring from the stage in 1953, and became a popular cross-over artist.


Live Broadcasts:


August 30, 1936: Magic Key of RCA Wagner: Tannhauser: Dich Teure Halle Strauss: Cacilie

November 15 1936: Magic Key of RCA Puccini: Tosca: Vissi d'arte La Forge: Hills Flotow: Martha: Last rose of Summer

May 22, 1937 Met broadacst: The Man Without a Country

March 27,1938: Magic Key of RCA Wagner: Walkure: Du bist der lenz Grieg: Ich liebe dich

February 22, 1941 NBC Concert with Melchior & Toscanini Tannhauser, Dich Teure Halle; Walkure Act 1 Sc 3; Gotterdammerung Dawn Duet, Immolation.

December 6, 1941 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

1942 Concert Hall Nevin: Rosary; Nobody knows

August 24, 1942 Bell Telephone Hour Mendlessohn, On Wings of Song

December 7, 1942 Bell Telephone Hour Mascagni: Voi lo sapete

December 19, 1942 Met broadcast: Tannhauser

February 6, 1943 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

February 27, 1943 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

November 15, 1943 Bell Telephone Hour La Forge: Hills; Kern: The song is you; Tchaikovsky: Adieu Forets

December 11, 1943 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde (incomplete)

1943 Concert Hall Mendlessohn, On Wings of Song; Tosca, Vissi D'arte; Tannhauser, Dich Teure Halle; Nevin: Rosary

February 9, 1944: Command Performance
Swing Low Sweet Chariot

c.1944
Edward: By the bend of the river
Speaks: Morning
Simpson: The Lovely Vespers

February 21, 1944 America the Beautiful

April 3, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Hallelujah; Vespers

December 2, 1944 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

December 23, 1944 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde (incomplete)

December 25, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Herbert - O come all ye faithful; Babes in Toyland; Schubert: The Omnipotence (Die Allmacht)

May 22, 1945 Bond: A Perfect Day

November 25, 1945 NYPSO Concert, Die Walkure Act 3 (abridged)

November 26, 1945 Met broadcast: Lohengrin

December 24, 1945 Bell Telephone Hour Christmas Song Medley

1945 Savings Bond Show: Rogers, O What a Beautiful Morning with Melchior

February 2, 1946 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

March 30, 1946 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

April 8, 1946: Bell Telephone Hour Wagner: Walkure: War es so smalich; Steal Away

May 27, 1946 Bell Telephone Hour Foster: Beautiful Dreamer

January 25, 1947 Met broadcast: Lohengrin

March 3, 1947 Bell Telephone Hour I'm wearyin' away

July 8, 1947 Hollywood Bowl Concert Liebestod, Immolation

January 3, 1948 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

January 24, 1948 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

March 6, 1948 Met broadcast: Tannhauser

August 26, 1948 Hollywood Bowl Concert with Melchior: Bridal Chamber Duet (Lohengrin); Isolde's Narrative, Love Duet (Tristan)

December 11, 1948 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

January 29, 1949 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

August 21, 1949: Standard Hour
Wagner: Walkure: Du bist der lenz
Malotte: Lord's Prayer
Fenner: When Children Pray
Rodgers: Oklahoma: Oh what a beautiful morning

August 28, 1949: Standard Hour
Wagner: Die Walkure: Ho-yo-to-ho
Jacobs-Bond: I love you truly
Brahms: Cradle Song
Sieczynski: Vienna city of my dreams

September 25, 1949 Voice of Firestone Kern: The Way you look tonight

December 17, 1949 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

January 7, 1950 Met broadcast: Lohengrin

March 18, 1950 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

August 19, 1950: Hollywood Bowl Concert
Wagner: Tristan: Isolde's narrative and curse
Wagner: Tristan: Liebestod
Wagner: Gotterdammerung: Immolation

December 9, 1950 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

February 10, 1951 Met broadcast: Siegfried

February 17, 1951 Met broadcast: Gotterdammerung

March 3, 1951: Carnegie Hall Concert
Beethoven: Egmont: Joyful and Mournful
Beethoven: Egmont: The drums they are beating
Wagner: Gotterdammerung: Immolation

April 22 1951 Standard Hour

Wagner: Lohengrin Elsa's Dream

Wagner: Walkure: Du bist der lenz

Wagner: Tristan: Liebestod

January 5, 1952 Met broadcast: Gotterdammerung

March 21, 1953 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde