[Met Performance] CID:121250
Parsifal {135} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/26/1937.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 26, 1937 Matinee


PARSIFAL {135}
Wagner-Wagner

Parsifal................Lauritz Melchior
Kundry..................Kirsten Flagstad
Amfortas................Friedrich Schorr
Gurnemanz...............Emanuel List
Klingsor................Eduard Habich
Titurel.................James Wolfe
Voice...................Doris Doe
First Esquire...........Natalie Bodanya
Second Esquire..........Helen Olheim
Third Esquire...........Hans Clemens
Fourth Esquire..........Karl Laufkötter
First Knight............George Cehanovsky
Second Knight...........Louis D'Angelo
Flower Maidens: Susanne Fisher, Irra Petina, Helen Olheim,
Hilda Burke, Thelma Votipka, Doris Doe

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Director................Leopold Sachse
Designer................Joseph Urban

Parsifal received one performance this season.


Review of Olin Downes in The New York Times

'PARSIFAL' IS GIVEN AT METROPOLITAN

Good Friday Performance of Wagner's Religious Drama Only One of Season

LARGE AUDIENCE ATTENDS

It is One of the Most Attentive of the Year - Kirsten Flagstad, Melchior and Schorr in Cast

A disquisition upon Wagner's "Parsifal," given its single performance of the season yesterday, on Good Friday afternoon, in the Metropolitan Opera House, and a consideration of the public response to this unique music drama, might properly begin with the observance of the sovereign facts that, while creeds and philosophies are subjects of hot dispute, the religious spirit of man is indestructible, and must, in one form or another, find expression. The listeners are always impressed and responsive to this work.

Parsifal" is not an opera for a series of performances in the ordinary run of a season. It remains in its essential meaning for the public what Wagner designated it to be, a religious festival play. Some rate the score as Wagner's greatest achievement. Others find that its subject guarantees its life and its public appeal more certainly than some parts of the score. A Whitman might reply to this that it is not the sounds in themselves that move you, but their exquisite meanings. Others might rejoin that the Grail scenes, the Good Friday music and the scene of Flower Maidens would be enough in themselves to impress and fascinate the public. The management did a very commendable thing yesterday in preventing late comers from entering the auditorium until the orchestral prelude had been heard.

The cast offered no significant departure from that of last season. The performance was not of the best. Mme. Flagstad was in poor voice, the tone, of which she had to be somewhat economical, showing signs of the fatigue which would appear to be almost inevitable after the incredible number of appearances she has made this season at the Metropolitan. The interpretation in general fell into lines of established routine. The expressive interpretation of the Amfortas music by Mr. Schorr was one of the best features of the afternoon, for Mr. Schorr sounds depths of true pathos and compassion which are not given to all interpreters of the part. As usual, Mr. Melchior's Parsifal, Mr. List's Gurnemanz and Mr. Habich's Klingsor found favor.

Mr. Bodanzky, whose "Parsifal" is customarily one of his best offerings. has conducted with more intensity and eloquence than yesterday. The brass choir of the orchestra was often uncomfortably hard and shrill. The final scene is very impressive; that of the Flower Maidens has been much improved in late seasons, but why the dismal lighting of the first Temple Scene? The opera was heard without applause, save after the second act. It was attended by one of the largest audiences of the season.



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