Tristan und Isolde
Photos and Audience Letters

Photo contributions by JaeHyoun Lee, Adrienne Metzinger, and Mado Chevreuil

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Thanks to everyone at One World Symphony for some of the best music we have heard in years. The Tristan and Isolde excerpts performance was exceptional, even by the high standards you previously have set.  We can honestly say it is the best we have ever heard. Period.

“You all do good work,” while a major understatement, sums it up nicely. We eagerly await the next season.

Nous vous remercions pour cette si belle musique! C’était un bonheur de partager cet évènement avec vous! Merci encore de tout coeur!
(We thank you for the beautiful music! We were very happy to share this event with you!. Thank you again with all our hearts.)

I’ve never been to a concert where the entire audience was hypnotized after the final chord. It felt as if we were all transported to be united with Tristan and Isolde by the long intense silence. This is what Barenboim wanted with his Tristan at the Met, but this unexpected magic did not occur. Thank you for the profound moment. I can’t wait for your Verdi night next season.

I was never a big fan of Wagner, but I was moved by your Tristan. Instead of the traditionally blaring and aggressive Wagner experience, your singers and orchestra sang and made music with warmth, tenderness, and long flexible lines. The evening’s performance, highlighted by the preludes to Act 1 and Act 3, the love duet, and the final scene with Isolde placed in the orchestra, was ravishing. I was surprised to wanting to hear more Wagner.

Just a note to repeat that I thoroughly enjoyed last evening’s performance. What a beautiful and demanding work. The ending was a kind of ecstatic moment...Isolde and the Orchestra resolving into infinity; I loved it. Thank you all so much for that.

If Mark Twain witnessed last night’s performance, he would have never commented: “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” The drama slowly rose to a paradox of intense emotions: joyfully tragic, serenely mad. The Liebestod alone was one of the most voluptuous and softest readings I have ever experienced live. The extreme highs and lows that Wagner demands were passionately expressed without sacrificing the ebb and the flow of the music. When will One World venture into the Ring Cycle?

Drama before the Drama
by Adrienne Metzinger

So, I am on my way to the rehearsal and performance on Sunday. It was my day to sing Brangäne. I had spent all morning Sunday carefully preparing and also relaxing so that I could put myself in the best possible position to do a good job. I warmed up vocally and reviewed the score. My hair was carefully curled. My makeup was freshly applied. I had a nice relaxing bubble bath before I left so I was fresh as a daisy.

My friend Marguerite and I had just picked up 10 large pizzas for the musicians. It was 3:50... our set up time was 4:00pm for our 5:00pm rehearsal.

My car was loaded to the max with:

Marguerite’s cello
the podium
music stands
orchestra parts
video cameras
the box office materials
two boxes of season brochures
Sung Jin’s suit
my gown
my bag of makeup, shoes, and hair styling items
a case of wine (musicians’ end of the season gifts) and of course....
10 large pizzas

You could scarcely see out the back.

I just finished telling Marguerite about how awesome my second-hand car was — about how it runs like brand new — and as I was about to turn onto 6th Ave from 23rd street…



My car totally died in the center lane of 23rd street.

Seriously. Sometimes it seems like this these things only happen to me. I can’t make this stuff up. It never happens on a Saturday when I didn’t have a major project scheduled — where it would be inconvenient but manageable.

Well to make a long story short... [too late! — ed.] four or five New Yorkers ran into the center of 23rd street and offered their help! They all pushed my car off to the side of the road. With one hand I dialed AAA while with the other I tried to hail a cab. I was frantic! I was so stressed. The AAA guy was so great. I was pleading with him to send help as quickly as possible. Singing Wagner and producing a Wagner opera with full orchestra are hard enough ... and now THIS? No cab would stop. FINALLY after 25 minutes an OFF-DUTY cab driver stopped and offered his help. He loaded EVERY SINGLE THING listed above into his cab including Marguerite and rushed to the church. I wish I caught his name! Thank you valiant sir wherever you are!

I waited with the car on the phone with AAA. I asked them to tow the car to my mechanic in Brooklyn. They said they could do that but someone needed to wait with the car to sign off on the tow AND to prevent the NYC police from towing the car away (which would have cost me about 300–400 bucks to retrieve the car). My rehearsal was in 15 minutes and I COULD NOT miss it. I would not miss it. I called our friend Ed — also a One World member for the last decade — and asked him for a big favor. He came and waited with my car as my relief.

Of course, I couldn’t get a cab to get myself to the church... so I walked MOST of the way. I was a hot, sticky, sweaty mess with straight hair by this point. I had engine grease on my face and hands from opening the hood and poking about.

I am standing in front of the orchestra at the rehearsal... and the tow truck driver is calling me and calling me. He wouldn’t just drop the car off at my mechanic in Brooklyn unless Ed accompanied him! SO the tow truck driver drove Ed and my car all the way to Brooklyn and was nice enough to drive Ed all the way back to the church to catch the performance!

New York is a great town!

Friday, May 13, 2011
St. Ann and the Holy Trinity
Brooklyn Heights

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Holy Apostles Church