* Notes *
The fourth performance of Tristan und Isolde was last night, and it was consistent with the previous performance I saw last week. Thomas Moser (Tristan) started off pretty well in Act I, and he sang beautifully in Act II, but by Act III he was rather quiet.
* Tattling *
The audience was at its worst, quite unlike October 10th, I suspect it is because there are no other performances during the work week, and there were four in the prior one. One individual who arrived late was made to sit in standing room, and he talked in a normal speaking voice, dragged the chair about, and refused to be quiet after repeated hushings. For Act III someone gave me his ticket for Z 118, the last row of the orchestra, and at one point all the people immediately around me were asleep. A woman fanning herself with a program spoke during the "Verklärung," to tell her companion (who had been asleep most of the act), "Look he's getting up!" in reference to the silly choreographic choice of having the dead Tristan rise to stand behind Isolde.
* Overheard *
During the first intermission I heard a hilarious exchange between two men, one of which was a graduate student who had lived in Berlin until recently. The graduate student said something about how the San Francisco crowd for Wagner was much gayer than in Berlin, where the people are the type to wear black turtlenecks. I had no idea black turtlenecks and gaiety were mutually exclusive. Also, the other man mentioned that Ms. Brewer would not enjoy Covent Garden, in reference to her weight and the Voigt incident. The graduate student exclaimed that he had never seen a skinny Isolde. I wanted to mention Waltraud Meier in Bayerische Staatsoper's DVD, but decided it was best not to comment.
Before Act II started, a young man was excoriating the King Arthur performance recently in Berkeley as he walked to his orchestra seat with a friend. Apparently he was dragged to Zellerbach without his consent. He said he despised Mark Morris and that there was nothing exquisite in his choreography, that it was tawdry.