[Met Performance] CID:93050
Parsifal {111} Matinee ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 04/2/1926.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
April 2, 1926 Matinee


PARSIFAL {111}

Parsifal................Lauritz Melchior
Kundry..................Nanny Larsén-Todsen
Amfortas................Friedrich Schorr
Gurnemanz...............Michael Bohnen
Klingsor................Gustav Schützendorf
Titurel.................William Gustafson
Voice...................Marion Telva
First Esquire...........Nannette Guilford
Second Esquire..........Louise Hunter
Third Esquire...........George Meader
Fourth Esquire..........Max Altglass
First Knight............Angelo Badà
Second Knight...........Carl Schlegel
Flower Maidens: Marcella Röseler, Grace Anthony, Raymonde Delaunois,
Laura Robertson, Charlotte Ryan, Marion Telva

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

Review signed M. W. in the Tribune

Good Friday's 'Parsifal' Is Best of Recent Years

Lauritz Melchior Plays Title Role Admirably for First Time at Metropolitan

The Metropolitan offered its customary Good Friday performance of "Parsifal" yesterday afternoon. The cast was a familiar one, with the exception of the title role which was played for the first time in New York by Lauritz Melchior. Mr. Melchior has sung "Parsifal" at Bayreuth. He knows the traditions, has had the benefit of the expert direction of Siegfried Wagner. He gives veraciousness to the Guileless Fool and, at times, he produces an admirable effect by simple means - as, for example, his indication of rising emotion in the scene of the killing of the swan. He is not, however, a particularly skillful actor, and in such complex and subtle passages as that of Kundry's enlightening kiss he is frequently beyond his depth.
Much of his singing fell gratefully upon the ear. There is beauty in Mr. Melchior's voice, especially in its middle register; and his mezza voce effects are uncommonly happy. This is a good Parsifal. One of the best of recent years, though it lacks the final touch of illuminating imagination.

The finest performance of the afternoon was the Gurnemanz of Mr. Bohnen. This is not only Mr. Bohnen's best part, but it is the most engrossing and sympathetic impersonation of the difficult role which the Metropolitan has known - a masterpiece of elegant expressiveness. Mr. Schorr's Amfortas is beautifully sung, but one does not feel that it conveys all the tragic intensity of the character. The Kundry of Mme. Larsen-Todsen is not one of her most impressive achievements; it is still, for her, an external assumption, not an embodiment. Mr. Schützendorf's Klingsor suffices. The choral singing had its usual lapses, and the Flower Maidens were productive of only modified rapture. It is to be hoped that the Metropolitan will buy these hardworking damsels some new kimonos before next season. Mr. Bodanzky conducted a performance that was often, despite its serious demerits, profoundly impressive. It was heard by a large and deeply attentive audience.




Photograph of Lauritz Melchior as the title role in Parsifal.



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