It’s been already a week since I had the great privilege of listening on Sirius, Met Opera Radio to the Opening Night Gala performance of Wagner’s masterpiece “Tristan und Isolde”, what a night! What a performance!!! Nina Stemme, Stuart Skelton, René Pape, Ekaterina Gubanova and Evgeny Nikitin were terrific!!!! As a true, great Wagnerian conductor, Sir Simon Rattle’s did a magnificent job!!! I have no words to describe the beauty of last Monday’s performance. It was incredible!
I have so many wonderful things that I want to share about last Monday’s Opening night Gala of “Tristand und Isolde”… the broadcast started earlier than ususal, at 3:30 PM (The normal Opera performances normally starts at 6:25 PM) but in this case, because it was the big Opening day and because of the long duration of “Tristan und Isolde”… the performance started more earlier, making it a different and very special broadcast.
Will Berger and Mary Jo Heath, who are hosts of the wonderful broadcasts of the Met Opera Radio, were excellent as always with their erudite and knowledgeable comments, talking about this new exciting production by Mariusz Treliński of “Tristand und Isolde”, about the power and huge effect of Wagner’s music and how profound this work of art is. Tristand und Isolde is one of the greatest works of art, in all history of not only of Opera but of music, theater and drama.
They also had during in the intermissions, as a very special guest, an interview with Plácido Domingo who will start in this season’s performances of Verdi’s “Nabucco”. (in the tessiture of Baritone)
This year’s opening night performance of “Tristan und Isolde” at the Met was magnificent and it is interesting to say the last time that “Tristan und Isolde” opened the MET Opera Season was in 1937.
I also have to comment that the Met dedicated, this performance, to the memory of Tenor Johan Botha, who unexpectedly passed away last September 8 at age 51. Last year, the opening night gala performance of “Verdi’s Otello”, was dedicated to the memory of Jon Vickers.
After last Monday’s Opening Night performance, I have to say it, I couldn’t sleep of excitement, it was one of the most glorious performances that I have ever listened. I had the “Tristan Chord”, King Marke’s “Monologue” and Isolde’s “Liebestod” inside of my head and heart for hours. The extraodinary Met Opera Orchestra, under the conduction of Sir Simon Rattle, performed the music so beautifully. I have to say this.. this is one of the greatest performances of “Tristan und Isolde” EVER.
Nina Stemme became the jewel of the crown, her Isolde was one of the greatest and her name will be, in history of Opera, along with Kirsten Flagstad, Birgit Nilsson and Jessye Norman as one of the greatest performers of this iconic role.
Stuart Skelton was also terrific as Tristan, specially in the third, difficult and demanding Act 3 in which is always very demanding for every Tenor to perform and Stuart Skelton did it perfectly, his answer to Marke’s monologue in act 2 is one of the best performances.
René Pape performed once again one of his best roles of his career, “King Marke”, in which his monologue performance was absolutely heatbreaking.
Ekaterina Gubanova and Evgeny Nikitin were also terrific.
As we already know, there are many interesting stories behind “Tristan und Isolde”, Wagner’s affair with Mathilde Wesendonck, the famous “Tristan Chord” and how Wagner’s composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.
Wagner’s “Tristand und Isolde” changed the world of music and Opera and it became a huge inspiration for other composers like Alban Berg, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Benjamin Britten and Arnold Schoenberg. In other words, “Tristan und Isolde” became the major influence of the classical music in the XX Century and it also became an impotant influence to poets of the of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Marcel Prout was deeply inflluenced by Wagner and refers to “Tristan und Isolde” in his famous “À la recherche du temps perdu”.
I highly recommend to all people to go, next Saturday, October 8, to the Live in HD Broadcast of “Tristan und Isolde”. It is going to be an experience that you will never forget, musically and also visually. You will experience the greatest and most deep work of art of history of all arts.