[Met Performance] CID:138750
Tristan und Isolde {310} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/3/1945.

(Debut: Frederic Gynrod
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 3, 1945


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {310}

Tristan.................Lauritz Melchior
Isolde..................Astrid Varnay
Kurwenal................Frederic Gynrod [Debut]
Brangäne................Blanche Thebom
King Marke..............Alexander Kipnis
Melot...................Emery Darcy
Sailor's Voice..........John Garris
Shepherd................John Garris
Steersman...............Gerhard Pechner

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

Review of Arthur V. Berger in the Sun

ISOLDE IS SUNG BY ASTRID VARNAY

"Tristan und Isolde" was given at the Metropolitan Opera House last Saturday night with three singers who were being heard in their roles here for the first time. Special interest attached to Astrid Varnay's Isolde, since it was undertaken at a few hours notice, when it was learned that Helen Traubel was indisposed. Miss Varnay's finished and highly competent portrayal of the role was all the more remarkable since she had never before sung it anywhere in public and she had no orchestral or stage rehearsal. Blanche Thebom's first appearance as Brangäne, though it had been scheduled in advance, was also a notable one in view of the fact that she is so new to the operatic stage. The third newcomer was Frederic Gynrod, who was also making his Metropolitan debut. Although he brought fluency and a sufficiently audible voice to the role of Kurvenal, he had few of the sympathetic qualities of either Miss Varnay or Miss Thebom. His debut was an able but rather labored one.

Miss Varnay's low tones often did not penetrate the orchestral sonorities and a certain uneven emphasis of the notes sometimes disturbed the phrase. But her pitch was good and the general conception was clear and agreeable. Miss Thebom's performance was somewhat less finished, but her voice had its customary high degree of warmth and beauty. It was again obvious that her natural voice is a great one. She has still to overcome some statuesque poses, but her portrayal had great charm and freshness, and she looked very attractive. Erich Leinsdorf's conducting was very well paced, vigorous, and gratifyingly forthright. The familiar members of the cast, including Lauritz Melchior, Emery Darcy and John Garris were as admirable as usual.



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