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Bühnenweihfestgespräch

A reminder, cher public, La Casa della Cieca opens early this evening (5:55 PM EST, to be precise) for a chat coincident with the first night of the Met’s new Parsifal. (Photo: Ken Howard)

77 comments

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    “Who could sing it better today?” I had no answer. But I’ve heard better.

    Well how about Waltraud Meier, Angela Denoke, Petra Lang, Evelyn Herlitzius and perhaps Michaela Schuster.

    Dalayman was more than disappointing already as Brünnhilde in the Walküre with the top of the voice being the main problem. You can lump her in with Susan McLean.

    When I saw the announcement of the Met Parsifal it looked like a winner and it seems like it is. The production looks very interesting and the singing is top notch with the exception of the Kundry (was Voigt not available?).

    I heard Gatti conduct Parsifal at Bayreuth during the first year of the Herheim production and found him boring. Way too slow with tension. You can do it slow like Knappertsbusch and it can still work since he knew exactly what he was doing and his performances never drag for one moment. Not so with Gatti whose first Act lasted well over two hours in Bayreuth.

    Two quick questions. I was wondering since the Met is doing a new production why are they not doing it around Easter when you traditionally do Parsifal? Are the Green Thursday and Easter Sunday performances only tradition here? And I was shocked to see the starting time at 6pm. Performances would end at about midnight a rather late evening at the opera or not? Would it kill them to start at 4 or 5? Even if one lived right across the street you wouldnt get into bed before 12.30 and God forbid those who live outside the city.

    • DurfortDM says:

      Well, FM, I live across town and I was home at 12:00 and stayed for pretty much all the ovations. Even 6 is a challenge if you’re working and I made it with only about 10 minutes to spare.

    • armerjacquino says:

      You can’t start at 4 or 5 on a weekday. Most people work.

      • Feldmarschallin says:

        Well I also can’t imagine rushing from work and going off to see Parsifal. Perhaps Wagner was right when he said it should only be shown at Bayreuth where you have the whole day to relax and walk around before changing and heading to the hill. Cannot one leave early if you build up hours beforehand? Stay a bit longer on a few other days but leave then at 3 for example? The whole opera is one where one needs to be rested up before hand to be able to sink into the music and specialness of the Bühnenweihfestspiel.

    • DonCarloFanatic says:

      I am not sure I want every long evening opera turned into a matinee. Especially since the Met now starts matinees in the morning, e.g., the Saturday Don Carlo starts at 11 AM. Friday night at the opera is still a relatively gala event. Showing up in evening clothes at 4 PM would feel silly.

    • umangialaio says:

      Goerke sang a pretty good Kundry in Torino a couple of years ago. I would like to hear Elena Pankratova in the role.

      Ulisse

    • phoenix says:

      FeldM, in 2011 there was a sepulchral Walküre premiere on Good Friday with your old favorite, Voigt -- BTW I, too, am shocked by her lack of participation in the Parsifal proceedings this season -- she must be very insulted that she isn’t singing Eine Stimme this year.
      - Alas there are no scheduled Good Friday or Easter performances this year at the Holy Temple of Lincoln Center. The Met’s salvation will have to be celebrated on Gründonnerstag with Popsy in Faust.

  • Feldmarschallin says:

    Well perhaps it is because I am more a morning person and was raised with the big Wagner starting at 16.00. Getting out of the opera at 22.00 is perfect and then there are those of us who cannot fall asleep right away so I have a glass of wine and a bit of a snack. By the time I am home if the opera is over at 22.00 it would be 22.45 and then another 45 minutes to unwind and it is 23.30 more than past my usual bedtime. But then again I also get up early usually by 7 and in the sommer around 6 (best time to work in the garden).

    • damekenneth says:

      I think there was a tradition of Easter time performances of Parsifal at the Met. Perhaps this has been rethought in light of that fact that this production specifically seeks to steer clear of the specifically Christian symbology? Or maybe time is just moving on.

      I can full well see your point about earlier starting times. I love that you can do that in Germany and Austria. It really wouldn’t work here in the U.S., I think, and particularly would be difficult in NYC. Americans work far too much of their lives. The idea of leaving early for the opera would be considered profligate.

      • phoenix says:

        Yes, I remember those Easter Parsifal performances also, but they were intermittent -> not standing yearly traditions at any of the U.S. houses in my lifetime that I remember.

  • peterquint says:

    Count me among those who were less than impressed with Gatti. Can’t blame him for occasional tuning mistakes in the woodwinds and brass, but the horrendously limp tempi are certainly his to claim.

    I couldn’t have been more excited about this production — JK’s my favorite living performer, hard to match Mattei and Pape, and I have a strange and perhaps undeserved love for Dalayman. Production was step in right direction for Met, especially these days — found myself shouting bravi among the boos — but held my tongue for Gatti.

    This music needs to be alive, moving and simmering, not languorous and inert. Sad.