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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. Throughout the 1940s she was a regular radio performer, particularly on the Bell Telephone Hour.

Live Broadcasts:

June 21, 1936 Magic Key of RCA Wagner Lohengrin, Elsa's Dream
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 broadcast: 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

August 24, 1942 Bell Telephone Hour Mendlessohn, On Wings of Song; [Foote: I wearin' away - missing] Ilgenfritz: Blow, Blow thy winter wind; Balfe: I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls

December 7, 1942 Bell Telephone Hour Speaks: Morning; Bland: Old Virginny; Mascagni: Voi lo sapete; Ward: America the beautiful

December 19, 1942 Met broadcast: Tannhauser

February 1, 1943 Bell Telephone Hour Rodgers: At Parting; Bridge: Love went a-riding; Massenet: Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux; Monk: Abide with me

February 6, 1943 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

February 27, 1943 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

May 17, 1943 Bell Telephone Hour Porter: Anything Goes; Ponchielli: Suicido; Smith: O Master let me walk with thee [in NYPL]

June 14, 1943 Bell Telephone Hour Thomas: Connais-tu le pays?; Malotte: Upstream; Nevin: Oh that we two were made (w. Jagel)

September 27, 1943 Bell Telephone Hour LaForge: Song of Love; Burleigh: Swing low sweet chariot; Foster: Beautiful Dreamer; Gluck: Divinities du styx

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

December 11, 1943 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde (incomplete, Acts 2 and 3 only)

December 20, 1943 Bell Telephone Hour Fenner: When children pray; Christmas Medley; Bos: A Miracle came to me

February 9, 1944: Command Performance Swing Low Sweet Chariot

February 21, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Edwards: By the bend of the river; Speaks: Morning; Mascagni: Voi lo sapete; Ward: America the Beautiful

April 3, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Ilgenfritz: Blow, Blow, Thou winter wind; Burleigh: Nobody knows; Nevin: The Rosary; Simpson: Vespers; O'Connor: Hallelujah;

May 22, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Bond: A Perfect Day; Fenner: When Children Play; LaForge: Deep river

August 28, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Grieg: I love thee; Wagner: Elsa's Dream; Harrison: In the gloaming

October 1, 1944 NYPSO concert Wagner Götterdämmerung Immolation Scene, Carry me back to Old Virginny [incomplete]

November 13, 1944 Bell Telephone Hour Beethoven: Creation's Hymn, Ich Liebe Dich; Kern: All the things you are

December 2, 1944 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

December 23, 1944 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

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

March 26, 1945 Bell Telephone Hour Wagner: Dich Teure Halle; Simpson: Vespers; Christ the Lord is Risen today

May 8, 1945 Artists for Victory Beethoven: Worship of Godhead in Nature; Drums loudly beating; The Battle Hymn of the Republic

May 21, 1945 Bell Telephone Hour Mendelssohn: Auf flugeln des gesanges; Tosca: Vissi d'arte; Stults: The sweetest story ever told

November 25, 1945 NYPSO Concert, Wagner Die Walkure Act 3 (abridged); Götterdämmerung Immolation Scene

November 26, 1945 Met broadcast: Lohengrin with Ralf

December 22, 1945 Met broadcast: Lohengrin with Melchior

December 24, 1945 Bell Telephone Hour Christmas Song Medley

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

January 28, 1946 Bell Telephone Hour London Bridge is Falling down; Kern: The way you look tonight; Walkure: Fort denn, eile; Walkure Du bist der lenz [in NYPL]

March 30, 1946 Met broadcast: Die Walkure

April 8, 1946: Bell Telephone Hour Wagner: Walkure: War es so schmalich; Twinkle twinkle little star; Johnson: Steal Away; Barnaby: Evening Song

May 27, 1946 Bell Telephone Hour Tchaikovsky: Adieu Forets; Foster: Beautiful Dreamer; Taylor: Abide with me

October 21, 1946 Bell Telephone Hour Speaks: Morning; Speaks: Where you there?; Bishop: Home sweet home; Wagner: Liebestod

November 30, 1946 Met broadcast: Tristan und Isolde

December 23, 1946 Bell Telephone Hour Fenner: When children pray; Niles: I wonder as I wander; Carol medley

January 25, 1947 Met broadcast: Lohengrin

March 3, 1947 Bell Telephone Hour Mascagni: Voi Lo sapete; Foote: I'm wearyin' away; Rodgers: Oh what a beautiful morning; Foster: Jeanie with the light brown hair; Massey: America the beautiful

July 8, 1947 Hollywood Bowl Concert Tristan und Isolde Liebestod, Götterdämmerung Immolation Scene

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

July 3, 1949 Carnegie Hall Medley of WWI songs; God bless America

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

January 16, 1950 Voice of Firestone Vienna city of my dreams, I love thee (Grieg), Deep River; Du bist Der Lenz (Walküre)

February 27, 1950, Voice of Firestone The world is waiting, Loch Lomond, Where you there? Ho-yo-to-ho (Walküre)

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

Concert Hall Nevin: Rosary; Nobody knows [1942]

Concert Hall [compilations of BTH] Mendlessohn, On Wings of Song [24/8/42]; Tosca, Vissi D'arte [21/5/45]; Tannhauser, Dich Teure Halle [22/5/44]; Nevin: Rosary [3/4/44]

Concert Hall [compilations of BTH]: Vienna city of my dreams, The Sweetest story ever told [21/5/45], Deep River [22/5/44], Du list Der lenz [28/1/46]

Music from America [compilations of BTH] Grieg: I love thee [28/8/44]; Bond: A perfect day; Fenner: When children pray [23/12/46]; Herbert: Toyland [25/12/44]