[Met Performance] CID:208620
Tristan und Isolde {388} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/25/1966.


Metropolitan Opera House
November 25, 1966


Tristan.................Ticho Parly
Isolde..................Ludmila DvorŠkovŠ
Kurwenal................Walter Cassel
Brangšne................Irene Dalis
King Marke..............Jerome Hines
Melot...................Ron Bottcher
Sailor's Voice..........Dan Marek
Shepherd................Paul Franke
Steersman...............Robert Goodloe

Conductor...............Georges PrÍtre

Review of Miles Kastendieck in the World Journal Tribune


Ludmilla Dvorakova sang her first Isolde for the Metropolitan Opera last night and won distinction for a warm-voiced, musicianly, and intelligent interpretation of the role. The fact that she is the best-looking Isolde to sing here in many years could add much more to that appraisal.

Looking and acting like a princess, she brought a womanly dimension to the role. Hers is not a big voice, nor is her performance large-scale. Within its framework, however, her voice reveals quality throughout its range, and her use of it reflects careful study. Particularly fine was her clean-cut phrasing at moments when she could easily have slurred the notes.

The purity of her upper register from the start and later when she applied more power promised well for growth. The shrieks in Act 2 came more from being hurried by George Pretre's speeding up the tempo than from reaching for the notes.


More dramatic fire would have enhanced her singing the curse in Act I, and more ardor would have heightened the meaning of the love duet in Act II. Nevertheless, both moments became far more expressive because of her singing since Ticho Parly's Tristan showed little interest in his Isolde, love portion or no love potion.

The Liebestod sounded self-conscious, possibly because the whole episode was so badly staged. She should sing it much more confidently next time. This handsome Isolde can fill an important place in the company right now.

Since Miss Dvorakova's voice is not brilliant, the performance as a whole became more cohesive. Parly sang well and earnestly within his dynamic range. He was at his best in the third act yet even then hardly within the role. This became only a serviceable Tristan though occasionally it suggested that it could become more than that.

Irene Dalis sang Brangšne with full-voiced ardor. Walter Cassel's Kurvenal was first-class vocally and dramatically and Jerome Hines' King Marke was vocally royal. The minor roles fared less adequately than usual.


Pretre brought little magic to the score though he conducted a musically satisfying performance. His idea of whipping up tempos to attain dramatic effects, generates feverish excitement, not drama. He has yet to get the feel of Wagner into his interpretation. When he does he may open Act 2 and 3 with more bite, rush less at Tristan's entrance in Act 2, and tone down the loudness that creeps into Act 3. These and other vital instances denote a less-seasoned approach, yet his musical intelligence, often guides him to catch moods even though he many not sustain them.

In general "Tristan und Isolde" fared more than acceptably in spite of the objectionable sets of Teo Otto and some very unimaginative stage direction.

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