Performing Brünnhilde: Lucienne Breval
Lucienne Bréval was one of the foremost sopranos of her time, singing at not only the Paris Opéra, but also Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera and the Opéra-Comique. One of the most crucial roles of her career was the Valkyrie Brünnhilde in Wagner's Ring Cycle. Here are several images of her as Brünnhilde from the 1893 production at the Paris Opéra, in which she introduced the role to many Parisians. The first features her alone as her character. Next to that is her costume, which still exists today. Then there is Bréval and Delmas together as their characters, Brünnhilde and Wotan, respectively. Finally, we see a costume mock-up by Charles Bianchini, the costume designer at the Paris Opéra and designer for the 1893 production. Since this was the first visual experience many Parisians had with Wagner's Lohengrin, most would have been familiar with Bréval in this costume. As a result if someone was listening to the November 14th tranmission, more than likely they would have pictured Bréval in their mind as they listened along. Unfortunately, Bréval did not make any commercially available recordings during her lifetime, and what recordings she did make have not aged very well. Thus the quality is substandard and cannot be taken as a true testament to her voice.