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Dmitry

This was a thrilling evening! Meier did not disappoint in any way. It's obvious that this is a part she should never have sung and she gets through it by sheer will power. But her command of the text and physical performance are second to none. I've now seen 4 sopranos sing Isolde in this production. It was originally staged for Jane Eaglen and though physically she is what she is, and dramatically she's not an Oscar winner, what impressed me was the sheer vocal opulence and tirelessness. By the end of Liebestod Eaglen sounded like she could start the whole thing over again. (And actually, if you just listen to Eaglen - she knew what she was singing about.) I also saw Sue Patchell's Met debut (filling in for an ill Eaglen) and she was fine, if not especially memorable. Dalayman earlier this season was really something of a bore. She just doesn't have the vocal heft to make Isolde work, at least not at the Met.

Meier, vocally the most inappropriate of the group is by far the best. Philip is right when he says that Meier draws you in - vocally and dramatically. I'm sure she had no time to learn the staging, so what we were seeing was no doubt a collection of things she'd done in other productions and her own inventions and I think the Met should keep Meier's staging! There were so many little gestures, like when she finally arrives to see Tristan dying in Act 3 - she crouched over him, took his hand, and kissed it as he died. And then sang "Ach, ich bins" while crouching over him and eventually just lying down next to him. And her Narrative and Curse, if lacking anything vocally, was hypnotic. She was truly telling a story and her Curse was a frigging Curse! She hurled those "fluchts" out with such venom - this Isolde is a force to be reckoned with. She truly communicates with the other people on the stage, she doesn't just sing at them. And her singing becomes almost conversational. It's almost as if she's simply talking. It's a gift very few singers possess. I think this is a performance I'll be telling people about many years from now.

Seiffert was excellent; his Act 3 was gorgeous. My only complaint about him is that the entire night he sounded like he was was about to crack... I was worried the entire night that he was about to lose it.

Michelle DeYoung...somebody up there likes her. I don't know who, but they do.

One interesting unplanned diversion: Isolde extinguishes a torch at the start of Act 2 to signal Tristan. It's a real torch, real fire, and Isolde is supposed to extinguish it at the foot of the stage. Meier, being new to the production, didn't extinguish it completely. And then she took off her robe and put it on top of the still simmering torch. Nobody realized any of this until a bit later when suddenly a woman calmly walked on the stage, pushed the robe aside, and took the still lit torch with her off-stage. The performance, of course, did not stop. I later learned that this heroic woman who prevented Act 2 of TRISTAN from turning into Act 3 of GOTTERDAMMERUNG was Margaret Jane Wray. (Wray is DeYoung's cover and the singer we all wished was singing Brangaene.)

Jan

I'm so pleased you liked it!

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