…this was a performance at least equal to many I've heard from more established ensembles led by more famous conductors. And better than many. The singing was equally strong. The title roles were taken by Alan Schneider and Jenna Rae, two more artists previously unknown to me. Their combination of beauty and strength would have been the envy of many internationally renowned singers.
The strongest moment, though, was saved for the very end. As noted before, there was a scrim separating the orchestra from the actors. At various times images were projected onto the scrim….during Isolde’s Liebestod - her song of love and death - as she sang in highly metaphorical language about drowning in perfumed oceans and dissolving into the breath of the universe, undulating waves were projected onto her and Tristan and they actually seemed to dissolve into the cosmic oneness of death they had been longing for all night. And as the music ended the lights came down on them and they seemed to disappear entirely. It was indescribably beautiful. An astonishing ending to an already astonishing evening.
In the first act of ‘Parsifal,’ the young, foolish hero is privileged to witness the mysterious ceremony of the Holy Grail. Afterwards, the wise old knight, Gurnemanz, demands of him, "Do you understand what you have seen?" It took a great deal of self control for me to not demand the same from each and every member of the audience. “Do you understand what you’ve been privileged to see?” I hope I've understood because witnessing this performance was one of the great privileges of my Wagnerian life.
wagneropera.net -C. Tennyson Crowe
…it was nearly impossible not to be swept up in the passion and waves of music that carried these larger-than-life characters — at least, vocally — to their tragic and romantic demise…That power was delivered in spades Sunday when TUNDI Productions presented the colossal love story “Tristan Und Isolde” at Brattleboro’s Latchis Theater. And the power and beauty of that performance, conducted by Brattleboro’s Hugh Keelan, was simply devastating. I’m not a Wagner fan, and I was blown away.
Times Argus - Jim Lowe
…TUNDI’s Tristan was not only worth remembering, but unforgettable! … Not only could the singers actually sing the roles—a dicey prospect in great houses from the Met to Bayreuth—the conductor, Hugh Keelan, was an absolute master of the score, the orchestra played their hearts out, and with impressive skill, and the dramatic values, both simple and sophisticated, hit home pretty much at every moment and in Wagner’s flowing dramatic arc.
The spell of Wagner’s creation took hold from the first notes and did not let up until conclusion of each act. Maestro Keelan favored especially slow tempi, but the concentration of everyone on stage kept the flow together, and one actually had the feeling that the performance was fast-moving and even brief. Let anyone who is afraid of operas more than five hours long think on that!
…this extraordinary production at the Latchis Theater, a cinema and arts center, in Brattleboro, Vermont, was my own most fulfilling experience of the work…
This may well be the first immersive Tristan in history, and, rather than it being the last, I hope TUNDI’s brilliant work with be a model for the future in opera production. Above all, this extraordinarily gifted team told Wagner’s profound, deeply moving story in the most powerful and direct way, and I know for a fact that people who came to the show not knowing what it was were thrilled with it. And there were some very fulfilled Wagner connoisseurs as well.
TUNDI should—must—carry on, and they do have a Ring in mind, beginning next year!
Hudson-Housatonic Arts Michael Miller