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George R. Weinhouse MD

There was a performance of TRISTAN in the early 1960's where the scheduled Tristan AND HIS TWO COVERS (!) were all sick. Each bravely sang one act. It is a killer role and I take my hat off to any tenor who attempts it.
I was present at the famous Jan 1974 TRISTAN with Nilsson and Vickers. After that there is no need to see another TRISTAN UND ISOLDE. It took me months to recover from that performance and I had the opportunity to personally congratulate Ms. Nilsson on a performance for the ages.


There's no need to see another TRISTAN after January 1974? Pity...

I agree with pretty much everything Philip says. I wish I'd been able to stay for Act 3, especially since when I got to work I discovered I didn't have much to do. The men in the cast were superb. The women left me wanting. Dalayman just doesn't have the dramatic thrust, or the voice, to make Isolde exciting. The section just after Tristan comes to see her in Act 1 almost put me to sleep because Isolde carries it and Dalayman really had so little to offer. Act 2 was better because it calls for a more lyrical sound.

Michelle DeYoung I don't understand either. The voice is colorless, thin, no top. But other than that she's great! Seriously, I've now seen her do some pretty big roles at the Met. Actually, her Dido some years back I did not hate, but don't recall fondly either. Her appearances since then have been less and less pleasant every time.

Barenboim's conducting was stunning. Levine's approach is more lyrical and placid. Barenboim prefers tension and forward momentum. Time-wise his and Levine's tempi are almost exact (roughly 80 mins per act), but Barenboim makes the score pulsate and shudder. Levine makes it sings. Last night I definitely preferred the pulsating and the shuddering! I'm really hoping Barenboim can be coaxed back to the Met soon. I don't suppose Levine wants to surrender one or two RINGs to his good friend Danny, does he?


I think the word 'orgasmic' applies to Barenboim's TRISTAN, and it really is a shame we haven't had him conducting here all these years.

While I understand that a great performance of a great opera can make you feel you never need to see it again, I'm happy to have seen both last season's and this season's performances even with a couple of casting flaws. I think the production is just striking, and the orchestra is playing so well.

My one prior TRISTAN (in 1971) with Nilsson, Jess Thomas & Mignon Dunn was overwhelming and after that I put it aside. How I regret now not having seen Dame Gwyneth, Hildegard and Big Jane as Isolde!!

I have heard tapes of the famous 1974 with Birgit & Vickers and agree it was a sensation though I feel Birgit was far more pitch-accurate in 1971 (she did go way off in the love duet at one point, though!)

I like Levine's TRISTAN but I must say it seems almost 'sterile' next to Barenboim's. Odd that the timings are so similar since Barenboim's seems to much more animated...though he himself was totally NOT animated!.

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