[Met Performance] CID:147350
Parsifal {173} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/10/1948.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 10, 1948


PARSIFAL {173}
Wagner-Wagner

Parsifal................Lauritz Melchior
Kundry..................Kerstin Thorborg
Amfortas................Martial Singher
Gurnemanz...............Joel Berglund
Klingsor................Gerhard Pechner
Titurel.................Dezs÷ Ernster
Voice...................Margaret Harshaw
First Esquire...........Frances Greer
Second Esquire..........Lucielle Browning
Third Esquire...........John Garris
Fourth Esquire..........Leslie Chabay
First Knight............Felix Knight
Second Knight...........Osie Hawkins
Flower Maidens: Frances Greer, Inge Manski, Hertha Glaz,
Paula Lenchner, Maxine Stellman, Lucielle Browning

Conductor...............Fritz Stiedry

Director................Herbert Graf
Designer................Joseph Urban

Parsifal received four performances this season.

Review of Jerome D. Bohm in the Herald Tribune

"Parsifal"

Wagner Work is Presented at Metropolitan

The season's first presentation of "Parsifal" at the Metropolitan Opera House last night had its impressive facets but could not be considered among the most telling heard here in recent years, aside from the conducting of Mr. Stiedry, whose discourse of the score was a profoundly perceptive one in which the music's inherent mysticism and its contrasting sensuous aspects were unerringly understood and conveyed with the essential breadth of style and intensity.

The singing of the principals was slightly uneven. Mme. Thorborg has never been a happy choice for the role of Kundry. Certain portions of her music, such as those pages of the "Herzeleide Narrative" lie comfortably for her mezzo-soprano voice, but there are passages of the scene with Parsifal in the second act that are quite impossible for her to reach and her attempts to do so resulted in distressing stridency. Dramatically viewed, her delineation was, of course, an effective one; for Mme. Thorborg is an accomplished actress whose insight into the complex character of Kundry is unswervingly discerning.

In the title role, Mr. Melchior, well-disposed, sang some of his music movingly. He made much of his impassioned outburst, "Amfortas, die Wunde" after fleeing from the embraces of Kundry. As Gurnemanz, Mr. Berglund was more often choleric than tender and his singing wanted in nuance and sometimes, in fidelity to the true pitch. Mr. Singher's portrayal of Amfortas was intelligently planned, but dry-voiced and without the poignancy of expression essential to an affecting account of the music of the role. Mr. Pechner was a more than ordinarily convincing Klingsor both in song and action. The Flower Maidens sang some of their slowly paced seductive music persuasively.



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