[Met Performance] CID:5790
Tristan und Isolde {8} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/7/1887.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
February 7, 1887


TRISTAN UND ISOLDE {8}

Tristan.................Albert Niemann
Isolde..................Lilli Lehmann
Kurwenal................Adolf Robinson
Brangäne................Marianne Brandt
King Marke..............Emil Fischer
Melot...................Rudolph Von Milde
Sailor's Voice..........Max Alvary
Shepherd................Otto Kemlitz
Steersman...............Emil Sänger

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

Review in The New York Times:

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

The final performance of "Tristan and Isolde," and the farewell appearance in New York, this season at any rate, of Herr Albert Niemann, proved the potent magnet that drew to the Metropolitan Opera House last evening the largest audience that has been gathered in its auditorium these three years. Every box, every seat in parquet, balcony, and gallery, and every foot of standing room was occupied, and, although the representation did not finish until midnight, the throng that witnessed the denouement of the music-drama showed no falling off from its earliest proportions. "Tristan and Isolde" was given by the familiar artists and after the familiar fashion. Herr Niemann is not an artist of moods. The condition of his voice may vary, but his conception of the personages be embodies, his methods of imparting it to the spectator, his declamation, in respect of feeling and accent, and his stage business are always identically the same. In the case of a performer less gifted and experienced than the German tenor, some stiffness and hardness would probably attach to portrayals of this sort. Nothing of the kind, however, offends in Herr Niemann's work: either the characters he depicts have become second nature to him, or else his art is so admirable that it is concealed through its perfection. It may be inferred from this that Herr Niemann's Tristan was as good as ever last evening, and it was even so. The chief attributes of his representation were, as heretofore, simplicity and intensity, and they were quite sufficient to deeply impress the listeners. Fräulein Lehmann as Isolde was at her best; it is doubtful, indeed, if she ever put more passion into the role, and if, in the second act, some signs of overwork were detected in the quality of her tones, her voice was brilliant and powerful almost throughout the opera. Herr Fischer as King Marke, Herr Robinson as Kurvenal, Herr von Milde as Melot, and Fräulein Brandt as Brangäne completed a cast which it would be difficult if not impossible to parallel in any playhouse in Germany. That there was a great deal of enthusiasm during the evening goes without saying. Herr Niemann was called out half a dozen times after each act, and when the curtain had fallen on Act I the orchestra rose and honored him with a tusch or fanfare, which brought the tenor down to the footlights amid prodigious enthusiasm. At this stage of events Herr Niemann was presented with a large laurel wreath, with two inscriptions on the ribbons adorning it. One of the inscriptions was a line from the septet in "Tannhäuser," and ran "O kehr zurück, du kühner sänger" and the other included the words, "An Albert Niemann, zur Erinnerung an der Saison 1886-87, von einigen Abonnenten" The wreath, as implied, was the offering of a number of subscribers. Then more plaudits followed and more cheers arose, and toward 12 o'clock, when the last bars of the score had been played by the band and the final curtain had shut out the Wagnerian "campo santo" from the beholders' view, Herr Niemann had taken leave of his New-York audiences.



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