Tristan & Isolt
By Sidney Goldfarb
Direction: Paul Zimet
Music: Harry Mann
Sets: Martin Bernstein
Lights: Arden Fingerhut
Costumes: Mary Brecht
1982: La MaMa (NYC). The Roundhouse (London)
In a bicameral evening at LaMaMa, the Talking Band is presenting a revival of the justly praised Giaconda and Si Ya U in one theater and their new production of Tristan and Isolt in another. It if is hubris to present the Wagnerian love epic today with a cast of seven on a small stage, the Celtic gods must not have been offended, because the Talking Band brings it off quite brilliantly.
One of the virtues of the Talking Band is their bility to spin out a complicated narrative with simplicity and clarity. Although the costumes, set, and lighting are austere in the extreme, the impression is voluptuous.
If you want to see an opera where the language is not the music, go to La MaMa, which is for a while Bayreuth without the pomp.
– The Village Voice