I’m not going to be at the Met’s new production of Tristan und Isolde until October 8, but I talked to the Met’s Tristan, Stuart Skelton, and wrote about the history of the Heldentenor in today’s New York Times:
A few months after the premiere performances of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde,” the first Tristan, Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, fell ill. As he died, he reportedly began to sing fragments of his character’s prolonged death scene. Wagner, struck with guilt, wrote: “My Tristan! My beloved! I drove you to the abyss.”
It’s unclear exactly what killed Schnorr von Carolsfeld, but the story that the opera did him in has persisted for a reason.
You can read the whole article here, which includes a Times critic who thought Tristan was “relatively easy work,” Stuart Skelton’s tips for Tristan newcomers, and color commentary from Speight Jenkins and Brian Zeger.
I’ll be back later this week with a review of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s concert performance of Der Rosenkavalier. Yes, I’ve been spending a lot of time driving to Boston and back.