Now [Ticho Parly] is back to sing Loge in "Das Rheingold" and the title role in "Siegfried" in the Boston Lyric Opera's first staged "Ring" cycle, which opens in the Northeastern University Alumni Auditorium tomorrow night; next week the entire production moves to New York's Beacon Theater. "I love singing Loge because it gives me a chance to act. I like any part that doesn't have a sword in it," Parly says. He is full of enthusiasm for the enterprise of the Boston Lyric Opera and its artistic director John Balme. "Maybe he's crazy, but I admire the guts he's got. The Met can't put on the whole Ring' cycle any more, and here he is, doing it. Anne Ewers, who is staging the operas, really knows her business. There are good voices in the cast. And the orchestra is wonderful - those 55 people make a bigger and a more beautiful noise than some Wagnerian orchestras of 120 I could tell you about. Every one of those players is a soloist."
After the army, Parly lived in Atlanta for awhile, where he became a local television personality. "Songs to remember by the voice you'll never forget." Then he decided to use the G.I. Bill to study voice at Indiana University, where he first began to look into [WAGNER] under the direction of Dorothee Manski, who had herself been a Wagnerian singer. "I was impatient, though," Parly recalls. "I wanted to go to New York, and I did. I found there were 2000 other good looking 6-foot baritones, all looking for the same jobs. I did a little off Broadway and summer stock work, and that's when I went into the travel business."
In 1958, at the urging of an Atlanta friend, Parly went to the Brussels Worlds Fair on an American Express tour and sang some auditions. Immediately, he won a two-year contract at the Opera House in Aachen, where he made his debut as Radames in "Aida." "Within a year I was guesting all around, singing first in Wuppertal and Cassel, and then all over the place. The career took over and I was singing 120 performances a year at least. At the beginning of your career you do stupid things - until you learn the hard way. In this repertory they ask you to sing 5 or 6 times a week. It's good for your bank account, and bad for your career. Sometimes I was blond, blue-eyed and stupid. I said I'd sing in Die Frau ohne Schatten' before I looked and saw what was in that thing. Leonie Rysanek and Marianne Schech and Paul Schoeffler were in it and I was in over my head. In later years I sang that opera a lot. I made my debut at the Met as [Tristan], and that was stupid because I had only sung the part twice before. I thought I was pretty good in Aachen, but at the Met, Birgit Nilsson sang me off the stage. You have to watch opera houses and conductors. They are not going to hand you a new set of vocal cords when yours give out. They'll invite you to dinner - and hire someone else."