[Met Performance] CID:121250

Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, March 26, 1937 Matinee

Parsifal (135)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Lauritz Melchior

Kirsten Flagstad

Friedrich Schorr

Emanuel List

Eduard Habich

James Wolfe

Voice/Flower Maiden
Doris Doe

First Esquire
Natalie Bodanya

Third Esquire
Hans Clemens

Fourth Esquire
Karl Laufkötter

First Knight
George Cehanovsky

Second Knight
Louis D'Angelo

Flower Maiden
Susanne Fisher

Flower Maiden
Irra Petina

Second Esquire/Flower Maiden
Helen Olheim

Flower Maiden
Hilda Burke

Flower Maiden
Thelma Votipka

Artur Bodanzky

Leopold Sachse

Joseph Urban

Parsifal received one performance this season.

Review 1:

Review of Olin Downes in The New York Times


Good Friday Performance of Wagner's Religious Drama Only One of Season


It is One of the Most Attentive of the Year - Kirsten Flagstad, Melchior and Schorr in Cast

A disquisition upon Wagner's "Parsifal," given its single performance of the season yesterday, on Good Friday afternoon, in the Metropolitan Opera House, and a consideration of the public response to this unique music drama, might properly begin with the observance of the sovereign facts that, while creeds and philosophies are subjects of hot dispute, the religious spirit of man is indestructible, and must, in one form or another, find expression. The listeners are always impressed and responsive to this work.

Parsifal" is not an opera for a series of performances in the ordinary run of a season. It remains in its essential meaning for the public what Wagner designated it to be, a religious festival play. Some rate the score as Wagner's greatest achievement. Others find that its subject guarantees its life and its public appeal more certainly than some parts of the score. A Whitman might reply to this that it is not the sounds in themselves that move you, but their exquisite meanings. Others might rejoin that the Grail scenes, the Good Friday music and the scene of Flower Maidens would be enough in themselves to impress and fascinate the public. The management did a very commendable thing yesterday in preventing late comers from entering the auditorium until the orchestral prelude had been heard.

The cast offered no significant departure from that of last season. The performance was not of the best. Mme. Flagstad was in poor voice, the tone, of which she had to be somewhat economical, showing signs of the fatigue which would appear to be almost inevitable after the incredible number of appearances she has made this season at the Metropolitan. The interpretation in general fell into lines of established routine. The expressive interpretation of the Amfortas music by Mr. Schorr was one of the best features of the afternoon, for Mr. Schorr sounds depths of true pathos and compassion which are not given to all interpreters of the part. As usual, Mr. Melchior's Parsifal, Mr. List's Gurnemanz and Mr. Habich's Klingsor found favor.

Mr. Bodanzky, whose "Parsifal" is customarily one of his best offerings. has conducted with more intensity and eloquence than yesterday. The brass choir of the orchestra was often uncomfortably hard and shrill. The final scene is very impressive; that of the Flower Maidens has been much improved in late seasons, but why the dismal lighting of the first Temple Scene? The opera was heard without applause, save after the second act. It was attended by one of the largest audiences of the season.

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