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Ed Waffle

In case you missed it....

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Deborah Voigt performed her first staged "Tristan und Isolde" in Vienna over the weekend. She reveived a 23 minute standing ovation.

Many people have been looking forward to this since she did Act II of the opera in concert with the New York Philharmonic.

Among those waiting backstage to greet her were Sarah Billinghurst of the Metropolitan Opera and Speith Jenkins of the Seattle Opera. While neither would have had contracts actually in hand, each could have produced one for the first U. S. series of performances by Ms. Voigt.

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Thanks for that update, Ed.

To this day Seattle's Eaglen/Heppner production remains as the most thrilling evening of my opera-going life. ( I'd peg the standing O at about 15 for that one)

Would love to hear Voight top it!

Who was Tristan?

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I saw that production in Chicago and it was an amazing night at the theater. It caused quite a stir in the opera world--I was able to hear much of the premiere on an internet link from KING.

Tristan und Islolde is a work that is difficult to stage since there is so much standing around and signing--or "park and bark" as it is known in Wagnerian circles. Someone once wrote that he was at a performance of one of the Ring operas. He glanced at his watch, then drifted into a nap. When he awoke, fifteen minutes later, the same singers were in the same places on the stage, singing the same music.

And concert performances can be problematic, since the score is written for the orchestra to be in the pit, not on stage behind the singers. Not easty to get the appropriate balance.

Whatever--if one enjoys Tristan und Islolde it sublime. If not, it is torture.

There was a review of the Vienna premiere in the Sunday Washington Post which gives more details, including the reception given the director, set designer and costume designer.

Additional note to Watermill--do you happen to know why the Pacific Northwest has been such a fertile ground for staging Wagner's operas? Seattle Opera is world famous as a Wagner house. People come from (literally) all over the world to hear and see Wagner there.

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Watermlll: it looks like your question was unanswered. The Tristan in Vienna was Thomas Moser.

I'm not sure the Pacific NW is all that fertile for Wagner, but Seattle certainly is. One of the reasons is that it has a strong director in Speight Jenkins who is able to convince singers to come there & sing in a good house with a good orchestra & chorus. It is not in the public eye like a NY or Chicago & many singers will take on a new role there before singing it in a more major house.

The same is true for Houston, where Renee Fleming just did her first Traviata.

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Originally posted by Ed Waffle

Whatever--if one enjoys Tristan und Islolde it's sublime. If not, it is torture.

Ed, just imagine if your introduction to Wagner were Parsifal as mine was at ten years of age. Arrrggghh. I still hate it.

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