[Met Performance] CID:105290
Parsifal {118} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/16/1930.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 16, 1930


PARSIFAL {118}

Parsifal................Rudolf Laubenthal
Kundry..................Elisabeth Ohms
Amfortas................Gustav Schützendorf
Gurnemanz...............Siegfried Tappolet
Klingsor................Adamo Didur
Titurel.................William Gustafson
Voice...................Marion Telva
First Esquire...........Ellen Dalossy
Second Esquire..........Philine Falco
Third Esquire...........George Meader
Fourth Esquire..........Max Altglass
First Knight............Angelo Badà
Second Knight...........Louis D'Angelo
Flower Maidens: Louise Lerch, Philine Falco, Ellen Dalossy,
Editha Fleischer, Pearl Besuner, Marion Telva

Conductor...............Tullio Serafin

Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

Metropolitan Opera Year Closes

Parsifal Twice in Holy Week

With a special Saturday night performance of Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Sadko" and a concluding Sunday evening concert, the Metropolitan ended its forty-fifth season. This was the longest season of opera ever given in New York, the usual twenty-four weeks having been lengthened by an extra week before the customary spring tour. The final week included "Aida" and a "Traviata."

With a capacity audience and under distinguished patronage, Wagner's "Parsifal" reentered the lists at the Metropolitan the night of April 16, as a benefit for the Summer Schools for Women in Industry at Barnard and Bryn Mawr Colleges. This was the first of two Holy Week performances, the second falling, as customary, on Good Friday. It was a "Parsifal" new in several important respects, chief of which was the conducting of Tullio Serafin of the first uncut representation in many years. Though he had done similar duty with the Metropolitan on tour, as well as in performances of the opera abroad, this was Mr. Serafin's first New York "Parsifal." Elisabeth Ohms sang Kundry for the first time as a member of the Metropolitan company, and there was a new Gurnemanz in Siegfried Tappolet. Rudolf Laubenthal was once more the Parsifal. Adamo Didur was cast as Klingsor and Gustav Schützendorf as Amfortas. Marion Telva sang the Voice. Not the least of the changes was one for the better in the costuming of the flower maidens. Mr. von Wymetal's stage handling of the Klingsor scene was appreciably improved.

Aside from its inclusion of music that has been elided in all "Parsifal" performances at the Metropolitan in recent years, Mr. Serafin's treatment of the score was of particular interest, in view of his success with "Siegfried." In the quality of the orchestral playing, this was an improved "Parsifal." In the clarity, the euphony and the cleanness of the ensemble, it was exceptional. There was much fine detail. But the entire first act and the Garden Scene of the second suggested an excess of caution in the building of sonorities. This, linked with tempi that erred on the fast side, caused the orchestral performance to fall appreciably short of what might have been expected. The Vorspiel, in particular, was an instance of very debatable acceleration in tempo.

Mme. Ohms has not appeared to similar advantage in any other rôle at the Metropolitan. Vocally, she was a little less uncertain in her upper notes; lower ones were often round and full with quality frequently warm and musical. Her acting of the temptation episode was distinctly better than routine.

Mr. Laubenthal had one of his more fortunate evenings, singing most of his music well. Gurnemanz, though he has been known to possess a more genial and winning personality, was sung with such beauty of tone by young Mr. Tappolet as to suggest that the Metropolitan has yet to disclose the full measure of the abilities of the emergency bass from Mannheim.



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