[Met Performance] CID:176990
Tristan und Isolde {362} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/1/1958.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 1, 1958


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {362}
Wagner-Wagner

Tristan.................Ramon Vinay, Acts I, II
Tristan.................Albert Da Costa, Act III
Isolde..................Martha Mödl
Kurwenal................Walter Cassel
Brangäne................Irene Dalis
King Marke..............Otto Edelmann
Melot...................Calvin Marsh
Sailor's Voice..........Robert Nagy
Shepherd................Paul Franke
Steersman...............Louis Sgarro

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

Director................Nathaniel Merrill
Set designer............Joseph Urban
Costume designer........Mathilde Castel-Bert

Tristan und Isolde received six performances this season.

[Ramon Vinay cancelled after Act II and was replaced as Tristan by Albert Da Costa.]

Review of Ronald Eyer in the March 1958 issue of Musical America

The first "Tristan and Isolde" of the season was a hectic affair and included, among other novelties, two different Tristans. Ramon Vinay, recuperating from influenza, lost his voice during the second act and was replaced in the third act by Albert Da Costa. Everyone in the cast, except Paul Franke, the Shepherd, was singing his role for the first time at the Metropolitan. Despite the fact that he never had sung the role publicly before, Mr. Da Costa proceeded confidently with the very difficult third act and carried it off better than some Tristans of memory who have been singing the role all their lives.

Martha Modl's Isolde is a highly finished performance dramatically, but one could get little impression of her full vocal potential in the part because of the necessity to temper the voice to Mr. Vinay's fading tenor. Her "Liebestod," however, was majestically intoned. Irene Dalis was a powerful Brangäne and her rich tones, due to the peculiarity of the circumstances, dominated the love duet of the second act.

Walter Cassel projected the personality of Kurvenal with a depth of conviction and understanding that immediately placed him among the best singing actors in the company. His death scene was a masterpiece of poignant realism. The fine voice and commanding presence of Otto Edelmann gave King Marke his requisite stature and other supporting roles were handled in a superior manner by Calvin Marsh (Melot), Louis Sgarro (Steersman) and Robert Nagy (A sailor's voice). Fritz Stiedry, at the conductor's desk, made the best of a touch-and-go situation.



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