[Met Performance] CID:91300
Parsifal {110} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 11/26/1925.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
November 26, 1925 Matinee


PARSIFAL {110}
Wagner-Wagner

Parsifal................Curt Taucher
Kundry..................Margarete Matzenauer
Amfortas................Clarence Whitehill
Gurnemanz...............Paul Bender
Klingsor................Gustav Schützendorf
Titurel.................William Gustafson
Voice...................Marion Telva
First Esquire...........Ellen Dalossy
Second Esquire..........Louise Hunter
Third Esquire...........George Meader
Fourth Esquire..........Max Altglass
First Knight............Angelo Badà
Second Knight...........Carl Schlegel
Flower Maidens: Marcella Röseler, Nannette Guilford, Raymonde Delaunois,
Laura Robertson, Charlotte Ryan, Marion Telva

Conductor...............Artur Bodanzky

Director................Wilhelm von Wymetal
Designer................Joseph Urban

Parsifal received two performances this season.


Review of Oscar Thompson in Musical America

The Thanksgiving "Parsifal"

The first of the two or three days in which a devout inner brotherhood of the larger Wagnerian Order walks in the clouds was reached in the musical calendar Thursday, with the result that the Mystic Band of Parsifalians filled the Metropolitan for the rites of the "consecrational festival drama" which once was, but no longer is, profaned by being treated as an everyday opera of the repertoire. Now the Grail is revealed only at matinées on Thanksgiving Day and Good Friday (with probably no New Years Day performance this year), and save for Mr. Urban's debatable scenery, Mr. Bodanzky's controversial cuts, and sundry peccadillos of insufficiently exalted artists (whoever they may happen to be), the pluperfect Wagnerite has nothing to mar his happiness.

The Thanksgiving Day "Parsifal" presented no departures from other representations of recent memory. There was perhaps more than the usual poignancy in Clarence Whitehill's utterance of the sufferings of Amfortas for those who knew that he was singing in keen personal discomfort as the result of a stage accident which compelled him to go on with one shoulder in bandages. It was, as always, a noble and deeply convincing characterization, one of the finest on the lyric stage today. Paul Bender's Gurnemanz had the mellow humanity which has distinguished it on other occasions, and Curt Taucher's Parsifal, if on a less poetic plane, must be commended for its earnestness and sincerity, as well as for its routine surety both in the music and its picturization of the witless redemptionist.

Margarete Matzenauer's treatment of the three-faced role of Kundry remains that of an artist and a personality. Few interpreters now available are apt to surpass her in the first scene, or that of Klingsor's castle, even though the music at times forces her to sing notes beyond her proper compass. The dark color of the voice, however-entirely aside from questions of high tones that should be sung only by a soprano-militates against the best effect in the seduction episode of the magic gardens. Here she again wore the costume that has been variously described as "the musical glasses," "the bead-portiere," and the "Hawaiian glass skirt," by means of which her every movement was provided with an accompaniment over which Conductor Bodanzky had no authority or control.

Others in a cast of general excellence were William Gustafson as Titurel, Gustaf Schutzendorf as Klingsor, Marion Telva as the Voice, and in the minor parts of squires, knights and solo flower maidens, Angelo Bada, Carl Schlegel, Ellen Dalossy, Louise Hunter, George Meador, Max Altglass, Marcella Roesler, Nanette Guilford, Raymonde Delaunois, Laura Robertson and Charlotte Ryan. Mr. Bodanzky conducted an orchestral performance that was eloquent and enchanting within the limitations noted at previous performances.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).