[Met Performance] CID:127350
Tristan und Isolde {276} American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 12/26/1939.

(Debut: Anthony Marlowe
Review)


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 26, 1939


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {276}

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Kirsten Flagstad
Kurwenal................Julius Huehn
Brangäne................Kerstin Thorborg
King Marke..............Emanuel List
Melot...................George Cehanovsky
Sailor's Voice..........Anthony Marlowe [Debut]
Shepherd................Karl Laufkötter
Steersman...............John Gurney

Conductor...............Erich Leinsdorf

Review of Philip Klein in the Philadelphia News

Flagstad Thrills Met Audience in Isolde Role

Richard Wagner's immortal music-drama of the love of Tristan and Isolde won worthy plaudits from the debs and dowagers when the Metropolitan Opera Co. featured its most famous singers in the opera at the Academy of Music last night. And although this tremendous work is offered in perennial regularity, local music lovers never seem to weary of the dramatic and impressive music which the hero of Bayreuth incorporated in this weird tale of the love of this mythical couple.

The Met has an established manner of presenting "Tristan" and although other troupes endeavor to recreate the same atmosphere, their efforts seem to be lost labors. Perhaps, it is because only this organization has the voices and facilities at its disposal so essential to a worthwhile production. Or maybe it is that the tradition of this peer of opera-giving groups adds the necessary stamina to a finished work. But whatever the cause may be, the effect is almost breathless. Nothing is neglected to assure the perfection in production, which is explanation enough for the hanging of the unfamiliar S. R. O. sign in a theater ticket office.

Kirsten Flagstad, whose voluminous voice is so capable in its interpretation of the vocalizing attributed to Isolde, assumed first proportions last night. In the inimitable love duet, after the drinking of the potion, there was a brilliance and glory in her voice that defied duplication. And when she added her contribution to the second act love scene, the listeners were astounded by the clarity and tone. However, it was not so good for her compatriot in love-making, Lauritz Melchior, who seemed to be lacking in his usual powers for the first time in a long while.

It was a grand evening, too, for Kerstin Thorborg, who sang the role of Brangäne. Although this is a secondary part, listeners were forced to admit that seldom does the occupant of this role assume the proportions of great importance. Her singing was downright splendid. Emanuel List garnered honors for his part as King Marke and Julius Huehn and George Cehanovsky were superb in their appointed parts. Others in the cast were Karl Laufkötter, John Gurney and our own local boy who made good, Anthony Marlowe. Erich Leinsdorf offered a fine portion in his conducting.



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