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Unfortunately, some of the musical luster of this performance was dulled by the inability of the Isolde, Linda Watson, to hit clear, well-supported high notes in Act I. She was, however, a passionate, romantic lover with creamy sounding middle and low tones. Aiding the pair in their search for time together, was Isolde's companion, Brangaene, sung exquisitely by Lioba Braun. From above the garden in Act II, her smooth voice floated down in radiant loveliness.

A scene from Act II of 'Tristan'. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Opera
A scene from Act II of 'Tristan'. Photo courtesy of San Francisco Opera

As Kurwenal, Juha Uusitalo was a valiant, faithful friend with a robust voice. A flutist turned bass-baritone, he showed great vocal acumen and he energized his many lines with total conviction. The pièce de résistance of this performance was the committed portrayal of Kristinn Sigmundsson as King Marke. The Icelandic bass commanded the stage totally whenever he appeared. He sang with stunning sonorous and dramatic tones that transmitted the emotional impact of Tristan's betrayal.

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Copyright © 19 February 2008 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA


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