[Met Performance] CID:15650
Tristan und Isolde {22} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/5/1895.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 5, 1895


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {22}

Tristan.................Jean de Reszke
Isolde..................Lillian Nordica
Kurwenal................Giuseppe Kaschmann
Brangäne................Marie Brema
King Marke..............Edouard de Reszke
Melot...................Mr. Riedel
Shepherd................Otto Mirsalis

Conductor...............Anton Seidl


Review of Henry Krehbiel, The New York Herald:

The great attraction of the London season next spring will be "Tristan und Isolde," in German, with practically the same cast that is now interpreting the most stupendous of all music-dramas at the Metropolitan Opera House. There in the English capital, that some of us are wont to sneer at, this performance, take my word for it, will cause an unparalleled sensation. People this side of the water will hear of the stir that Jean and Edouard de Reszke and Mme. Nordica have made; that "Tristan und Isolde" has become the fashionable opera of the day, and that to be considered "in the swim" you must see them, above all things, in Wagner's wonderful love tragedy.

Last evening the Opera House was simply well filled, when it should have been crowded to the doors. Never have I known a public to make so tremendous and ludicrous a failure as in this instance. It is the most artistic, the most thrilling performance, is this of "Tristan und Isolde," that has ever been given here. Yet the public seems to take but a mild interest in the matter, seems positively to be ignorant of the fact that Nordica and the de Reszkes really sing the music and the words of Wagner as they were never sung before. If Wagner singers must be born, say in Schweinfurth or Chemnitz or Graz to be considered authoritative, then perhaps the great artists who have come to such trouble had better return to their Fausts and Romeos and Aidas. For Chauvinism such as this was never known, even in the days when "Tannhaeuser" was hooted off the boards in Paris. Were "Tristan" given there tomorrow with the same artists we heard last evening seats would be at a premium the rest of the season. Is the trade mark for foreign success absolutely necessary to make the public of this city to fall in line?

Of course there were several thousands of people in the opera house last night. They approved of the proceedings politely enough, too. But the theatre should have been crowded and wildly enthusiastic. For such a Tristan, such an Isolde, such a Marke exist nowhere in the world over nowadays. Perhaps the public would patronize the undertaking more if Tristan and Isolde appeared in the costumes of Don Jose and Carmen.



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