[Met Performance] CID:174590

Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, March 30, 1957

Parsifal (198)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Brian Sullivan

Margaret Harshaw

Hermann Uhde

Otto Edelmann

Gerhard Pechner

Nicola Moscona

Belén Amparan

First Esquire
Madelaine Chambers

Third Esquire
Charles Anthony

Fourth Esquire
Gabor Carelli

First Knight
James McCracken

Second Knight
Osie Hawkins

Flower Maiden
Laurel Hurley

Flower Maiden
Rosalind Elias

Flower Maiden
Helen Vanni

Flower Maiden
Heidi Krall

Flower Maiden
Emilia Cundari

Second Esquire/Flower Maiden
Margaret Roggero

Fritz Stiedry

Herbert Graf

Leo Kerz

Stage Director
Nathaniel Merrill

Parsifal received three performances this season.

Review 1:

Irving Kolodin in the Saturday Review
First “Parsifal”

The first "Parsifal" of a Metropolitan season like the first crocus of spring, is more often than not somewhat undernourished and anemic, not quite ready for the world into which it is thrust. This has to do with the massive dimensions of the work, the problem of properly integrating its requirements in the rehearsal time allotted in a repertory theatre. But in deference, perhaps, to the need for acquainting two new Parsifals (Brian Sullivan and Albert da Costa) with their duties, Fritz Stiedry had everything well in hand for a Saturday night performance that began late and ran later but did substantial justice to Wagner.

With such experienced Wagnerians as Otto Edelman (when have we last had a high baritone with his low notes and a thoroughly lyric way of singing Gurnemanz?), Hermann Uhde as an expressive Amfortas, and Margaret Harshaw as a solid (all too) Kundry, Sullivan had strong support for his first endeavor. It is a part to which he is admirably suited in physique and temperament, being one in which no sharp dramatic modulations are required. He has, also, the vocal timbre to make his singing count.

The Leo Kerz settings introduced last year are still somewhat neo-Bayreuth for those who have seen Wieland Wagner's original, but they stand the scrutiny of re-acquaintance. That is to say, the deficiencies recede, the utilities predominate in a Graf staging that is functional and dignified. Stiedry's timing, if such it can be called, is all leisure and reflection. More rhythmic definition would give it sharper impact, but the sound is good, the proportions large.

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