Tag Archives: Parsifal

Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, July 2017

In Wagner’s final and most abstract opera, Uwe Eric Laufenberg’s superb production sets the mystical land of the Grail in the Middle East. The exact location appears fleetingly on a map during the Act 1 journey to the Grail ceremony where Gurnemanz explains that space and time become one, which they do at the speed …

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Parsifal, Staatsoper Berlin, Festtage, Schiller Theater, April 2017

This year’s Festival opened with a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic under Barenboim: Mozart’s Haffner and Jupiter symphonies were given powerful lyricism, and Schönberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 wonderful chromatic pulsation. To follow this, Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle fully brought out the emotional depths of Wagner’s Parsifal in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s intriguing production from the …

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Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, July 2016

Can Christians, Jews and Muslims live in harmony in the Middle East? The final scene of Bayreuth’s new Parsifal supplies a message of hope when these three faiths come together in the opera’s final act of redemption. My review appeared in the Daily Telegraph, 27 July 2016

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Parsifal, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, November 2013

The Royal Opera House’s choice for Wagner’s bicentenary is a new production of Parsifal by director Stephen Langridge and designer Alison Chitty, the same team who gave us Birtwistle’s Minotaur five years ago. Here they achieved similar dramatic clarity using a Cube, which changes from opaque to translucent to open, partly to illustrate scenes from …

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Parsifal, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, August 2013

The Albert Hall was the first venue for a concert performance of Parsifal, at least in England, just two years after the Bayreuth premiere of 1882. At that time copyright protection restricted staged performances to Bayreuth, but who needs a full staging? This 2013 performance with powerful musical direction by Mark Elder, and subtle stage …

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Parsifal, Metropolitan Opera live cinema relay, 2 March 2013

A stunning performance with a wonderful cast under superb musical direction by Daniele Gatti could make for a series of tiresome superlatives, so I shall start with a more interesting observation. This endlessly intriguing opera allows every production to bring out some new aspect. The brilliant Bayreuth production relates it to the history of Germany …

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Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, July 2012

The present extraordinary Bayreuth production by Stefan Herheim portrays Germany from before the First World War to the aftermath of the Second, with Parsifal representing the true spirit of the country, and Amfortas the one that lost itself in Nazi times. It all starts during the overture, with Parsifal’s mother Herzeleide close to death. Lying …

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Bayreuth Festival Retrospective, 2011

This year the Bayreuth Festival produced five different operas, opening with a new production of Tannhäuser, followed by four revivals: Meistersinger, Lohengrin, Parsifal, and Tristan, in that order.  I went to the first four, which included Katarina Wagner’s grotesque Meistersinger for which spare tickets were selling at half price, and no wonder. With a weak …

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Parsifal, Bayreuth Festival, July 2011

The imagery is enormous, but the production concept is simple. It’s the history of Germany from before the First World War until after the Second.

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Parsifal, English National Opera, ENO, London Coliseum, February 2011

Easter comes late this year but Parsifal is early, and stepping into the warmth of the London Coliseum from a washed-out winter’s day was a treat. As the first bars came out of the orchestra, Mark Wigglesworth’s conducting showed the clarity and quality Wagner’s music demands, and sent tingles down my spine.

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Prom 66, with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, 4 September 2010

“Mahler’s 11th Symphony”, Rattle called the second half of this concert as he introduced it, requesting the audience not to interrupt with applause until all three works were over.

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