Tristan und Isolde

Franz-Paul Decker
Choeur de Opéra de Québec
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
February 1986
Salle Wilfried Pelletier Montreal
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
TristanJames McCray
IsoldeBerit Lindholm
BrangäneVera Baniewicz
KurwenalVictor Braun
König MarkeJames Johnson
MelotPaul Trépanier
Ein junger SeemannRobert MacLaren
Ein HirtRobert MacLaren
SteuermannErik Oland
Stage directorRoberto Oswald
Set designerRoberto Oswald
TV director?
Mike Richter


Bright, light, unique staging. Sets are replaced with rear projections and draperies. Costumes are simplified but traditional in concept. Movement is conventional and stilted, but seems fitting due to the lightness of the reading and the simplicity of the production. Overall, the staging is sufficient to represent Wagner’s concepts and never distracts from the performance.


Decker’s concept is lighter and more lyric even than Karajan’s, perhaps due to limitations of his forces. Orchestra and chorus are underpowered but adequate. Lindholm is an effective Isolde who strains at climaxes. McCray offers the right timbre without consistently finding the notes of the score. Baniewicz and Braun are accurate but have little to offer vocally. Minor parts are handled routinely.


Canadian engineering is at its worst in both video and audio: diffuse, vague, and distorted. Lighting is harsh, violating the fluid lines of the production and contradicting its lightness. Camera work is admirable, deserving of better engineering and lighting. Overall, the production and Lindholm make this a performance worth watching — once.

Evaluation: Adequate

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Premiere, HO
Technical Specifications
512×352, 729 kbit/s, 1.1 GByte (MPEG-4)
French subtitles
Possible dates: 13, 17, 22, 26 February, 1 March 1986