[Met Performance] CID:159500
Parsifal {183} Metropolitan Opera House: 04/4/1952.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 4, 1952


PARSIFAL {183}
Wagner-Wagner

Parsifal................Set Svanholm
Kundry..................Astrid Varnay
Amfortas................Hans Hotter
Gurnemanz...............Dezs÷ Ernster
Klingsor................Alois Pernerstorfer
Titurel.................Luben Vichey
Voice...................Jean Madeira
First Esquire...........Genevieve Warner
Second Esquire..........Mildred Miller
Third Esquire...........Paul Franke
Fourth Esquire..........Gabor Carelli
First Knight............Emery Darcy
Second Knight...........Osie Hawkins
Flower Maidens: Lucine Amara, Lois Hunt, Hertha Glaz,
Anne Bollinger, Paula Lenchner, Margaret Roggero

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

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

Parsifal received four performances this season.

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

'PARSIFAL'
Opera Returns to Met With New Singers in Some Roles
Wagner's "Parsifal" which had not been heard at the Metropolitan Opera House last season, returned there yesterday evening in a musically impressive interpretation with several principals who had not sung their roles here before, including Mr. Hotter as Amfortas, Mr. Ernster as Gurnemanz, Mr. Pernerstorfer as Klingsor and Mr. Vichegonov as Titurel.

For the high musical standard of the performance as a whole much of the credit seemed due to the conducting of Mr. Stiedry, who, besides preserving a just balance between the instruments and the voices, had a notable and penetrating understanding of the score as an entity as well as in detail, in its structure and in the emotions. There was a realization of the work's largeness of scale, but without lingering; there was a sense of motion, but not of haste, with firmness and flexibility of rhythm, and the orchestra was at its best.

Astrid Varnay's interpretation of Kundry was expressively perceptive if not fully matured; her singing was often ingratiating, but the tones were sometimes forced; the outcries for which Kundry is called upon were effective, but at times in the second act, a shade too strident. Mr. Svanholm's singing, tonally praiseworthy after overcoming a slight dryness, was emotionally communicative, and it had noteworthy dramatic significance in the second act. In acting, Mr. Svanholm resorted rather unduly to a semaphoric type of gesture - a type which Miss Varnay did not always avoid. Mr. Hotter's Amfortas, in voice and manner, combined an impression of nobility and suffering, and reflected the general spirit of Mr. Stiedry's interpretation.

Mr. Ernster, in good voice, gave a dignified, warmly sympathetic portrayal of Gernamanz, nearly if not entirely obviating the sense of length which is hard to avoid in parts of the character's extensive assignment, and Mr. Pernerstorfer gave a vigorous and effective musical interpretation of Klingsor.



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