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Subject: Re: Met Parsifal Prima: Welcome to Monsalvat
From: Michael Lane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Lane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Feb 2018 18:40:30 -0500
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The old adage of poor dress, great opening sprang to my mind last night as
I sat in the house for the first Parsifal. But in reverse! I was blown away
by the dress, which was fully sung by everyone, last night it wasn't quite
the same. The orchestra had some bad patches, the horns especially, and
perhaps some opening night nerves took over but it did not move me as
deeply. Yes, I  am used to the ruminative Levine version (since his first
in 1979)  but thought Gatti was great as well. It seemed a bit foursquare
to me.... I am lucky enough to be going several more times and know it will
get better. The singing is there, Pape has rolled back the years, he
sounded younger and freer than 5 years ago, to say Mattei is the equal of
Weikl is my highest praise and the production makes him do much more on
stage, Nikitin is fantastic. I was bowled over Friday by Herlitzius, she
has the voice I love, big, pretty ugly, sometimes unruly, but she is a
singing actress and I have been waiting to see her live in this since I saw
the Aix DVD of Elektra. Vogt uses his focused sound to great effect and the
singing at the end of the second act when he takes the spear from Klingsor
is breathtaking. I did not miss the German Caballe at all.

With the house in so much turmoil, this was a balm for those of us who love
the Met.

Mike

On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 6:19 PM, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Not only did I get the EBS warning, but in Act 1 my Sirius stream
> automatically clicked over to Callas doing the Lucia Mad Scene!  La Divina
> is always welcome Chez moi, but this time she was de trop -
> especially since I was recording.
>
> I agree with the generally ecstatic reviews - Vogt is a singular voice that
> I have heard to great effect in Bayreuth and Berlin.  He is my "go to" for
> Lohengrin and Walter.  When I heard him last year in house at the MET's
> "Fidelio" and again last night in Parsifal, the voice seemed thinner and
> less refulgent than I remember from German theatres.  I will see him in
> house on Feb. 23rd and hope he will have adjusted his focus to the MET's
> larger space. In terms of timbre his is one of the most beautiful, unique,
> and affecting voices I've ever experienced.  Herlitzius is a brilliant
> actress with a "love it or hate it" voice.  I happen to be in the former
> category and felt she (and Nikitin) ignited Act 2 yesterday.  Mattei and
> Pape are pure Wagnerian Bel Canto.  I won't have YNS at my live
> performance, but I'm hoping the orchestra will have learned his lessons.
>
> On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 5:01 PM, Shirley Moyer <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > Yes I got the Emergency warning too. Everything else great. But I am not
> a
> > Vogt fan and did not particularly like his contribution.
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > > On Feb 6, 2018, at 4:34 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> > > I was wondering if anyone else got the EBS interruption as well - since
> > no one else had
> > > mentioned it. That was awful.
> > >
> > > However, I didn't get any other interruptions - the ending of the opera
> > was intact.
> > >
> > > I've been tending to listen to the Met only on the Sirius stream rather
> > than the Met's
> > > "listen live" option, because I've experienced a lot of dropouts on
> that
> > stream. But, as far
> > > as I know, the Met's stream isn't taken from Sirius, so maybe the
> > "listen live" internet
> > > audience was luckier last night.
> > >
> > > But I agree with the praises for last night's performance. Wagner is
> not
> > my first love, and
> > > I'm not as well-versed in Parsifal as many of you are. But I enjoyed
> > having a night to be
> > > at home and relax on my couch, vocal score in hand, listening to the
> > beauty of it all, and
> > > getting another chance to get more familiar with this opera. I picked a
> > winner, lol.
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, 6 Feb 2018 15:16:06 -0500, G. Paul Padillo <
> > [log in to unmask]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > >> I had some difficulty tuning in last night and, there were several
> > glitches on
> > >> Sirius including an infuriating “This is a test of the Emergency
> > Broadcast
> > >> System . . . “ a few minutes into one of Gurnemanz’s 3rd act
> monologues
> > >> and worse – Sirius dropping out during Parsifal’s final line and
> > receiving
> > >> the “content not available” message before Mahler began playing from
> > >> another Sirius channel.  Even these, however couldn’t (fully) spoil
> the
> > >> effect that was being made over the air, and, based on good evidence,
> > >> emanating from the house itself.
> > >>
> > >> Yannick Nézet-Séguin led what can only be described as an
> extraordinary
> > >> reading of an extraordinary score and his love for this score was made
> > >> palpable in its execution.  Moments, like some of those orchestral
> > >> interludes during Gurnemanz’s monologues that change its tone which
> > >> many others either gloss or languish over, here crackled with life, a
> > >> vibrancy in the strings that was electric.
> > >>
> > >> The first transformation scene went about as beautifully as
> Furtwangler,
> > >> with a similar sense of moving forward and at Gurnemanz’s response (my
> > >> favorite line from any opera) to Parsifal’s observation:
> > >>
> > >> "Du siehst, mein Sohn,
> > >> zum Raum wird hier die Zeit!"
> > >>
> > >> We were all along for that journey.  Here was shape and form,
> expansive
> > >> where it needed to be, then firm . . . taut with a momentum like some
> > >> great galactic force pulling each of us, inexorably, into its core.  I
> > was, as I
> > >> always want to be by Parsifal, overwhelmed and transported.
> > >>
> > >> That same care and detail, without being over precious was to be heard
> > >> also in the Good Friday music, every measure part of the journey.
> > >>
> > >> In the title role Klaus Florian Vogt will not likely be to the liking
> > of some
> > >> (most?) of our listers here.  My first encounter with him – about ten
> > years
> > >> ago – found me perplexed . . . the tone that, I thought, of a
> > countertenor.
> > >> After a few years I’ve come to love his interpretations of both
> > Parsifal and
> > >> Lohengrin.  Vogt began his musical career as a horn player with the
> > >> Philharmoniker Hamburg and played in the pit for Parsifal.  There is a
> > >> purity of tone – almost treble like – in his singing that I feel works
> > >> wonderfully in this role paired against both Frau Herlitzius and Herr
> > Pape
> > >> brought an interesting aural tapestry, all the richer for its
> inclusion
> > of light.
> > >>
> > >> Making her company debut, Evelyn Herlitzius offered a wonderfully
> drawn
> > >> Kundry.  Bolder than many, more wild than some in her delivery.  When
> > >> she wanted sleep, you just know that no one in the world has ever been
> > >> more exhausted than this lady.  She took interesting liberties with
> her
> > >> laugh at Klingsor – beginning it earlier and lasting longer and
> > >> less “measured” than one is generally accustomed to.  She was
> > sensational
> > >> and different than my other favorite Kundries who offered more plush
> to
> > >> their sound (think Ludwig, Troyanos, et. al.) and more in the Modl and
> > >> Meier vein.
> > >>
> > >> Of Klingsor, all one can say of Evgeny Nikitin is that he sings the
> > role as
> > >> though born to it.  Too often for my taste has Klingsor had a wiry
> > sound,
> > >> more “Merlin the Magician” not enough menace.  Not so Nikitin who
> roars
> > >> through the part like a beautiful, sexy howling beast.
> > >>
> > >> His Blumenmädchen sounded sexier than usual, girly and wild (“Girls
> Gone
> > >> Wild,” I remarked to friends last night on FB).  They definitely
> didn’t
> > sound
> > >> like middle-aged matrons in caftans beckoning a hefty tenor in boy’s
> > >> clothing.  There was definite “snap” going on in their sound which
> > somehow
> > >> managed to be both luscious and lean.  Delightful.
> > >>
> > >> When Peter Mattei first took on Amfortas everyone  (including me)
> > thought
> > >> why?  Well, he showed us all why when this production first appeared
> > here,
> > >> and, as though we could possibly forget, reminded us again last night.
> > The
> > >> elegiac quality of his suffering is exquisitely portrayed, the sound,
> > focused,
> > >> unforced, open with a raw beauty so exposed it almost feels “raw.”
> > >>
> > >> Rene Pape has, from the beginning, been one of the most beautifully
> > sung,
> > >> sonorous Gurnemanz in my experience.  He belongs up there with the
> best
> > >> interpreters of the role.  While at this stage of the game a singer
> > could just
> > >> offer what he knows would “sell” – Pape goes beyond this.  One can
> hear
> > >> some age in his voice, softening the old knight’s sternness, and, if
> at
> > all
> > >> possible, deepening the intensity, whilst balancing it with
> gentleness.
> > >> Nowhere was this more evident than in the Good Friday music, where he
> > >> evokes nature itself and spins out such tenderness in:
> > >>
> > >> "Nun freut sich alle Kreatur
> > >> auf des Erlösers holder Spur,
> > >> will sein Gebet ihm weihen."
> > >>
> > >> Just his mere utterance of “Kreatur” is a model of exquisite word
> > painting.
> > >>
> > >> Everything about this performance lifted my heart up last night, made
> me
> > >> glad to be alive right now regardless of what else is happening in
> this
> > crazy
> > >> world.  For six hours last night we had the opportunity to be lost in
> > the
> > >> time space continuum on our way to Monsalvat.
> > >>
> > >> I can hardly wait to experience this live in a few weeks – and that,
> > friends,
> > >> is an understatement.
> > >>
> > >> p.
> > >>
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