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Richard Wagner: Parsifal

  • Dec 7, 2013 · 1:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Arrive: 12:45 - 1:00.

                                        "Good Friday" music

Wagner's final opera is based on an ancient spiritual quest story that has appeared in many forms. It's sufficiently complex that I highly recommend reading the synopsis and any other materials.


• Parsifal...... ....Siegfried Jerusalem

• Guernemanz...Kurt Moll

• Kundry...........Waltraud Meier

• Amfortas.........Bernd Weikl

• Klingsor...........Franz Mazura

"The Holy Grail" is the cup used at the Last Supper before the Crucifixion and is said to have been used to catch the blood from the wound in Christ's side made by a Roman soldier. The Grail has subsequently acquired mystical powers and had been preserved in the castle of Montsalvat, served by knights who have taken the vow of chastity. Parsifal, a "holy fool," stumbles across the knights, and after exposure to them, suffers trials and challenges, driven by compassion for Amfortas and a desire to serve the knights. He returns on Good Friday ready to be their spiritual leader.

Kundry cursed The Redeemer and has been cursed in turn, doomed to the dual role of serving the evil magician Klingsor while performing services for the knights of the Grail in hopes of salvation. Klingsor commands her and her "flower maidens" to seduce Parsifal.

Amfortas, who succeeded his father as head of the knights, lost his chastity and the Holy Spear (that pierced the Redeemer) under the influence of Klingsor. He suffers from a painful wound inflicted by the Spear that will not heal.

James Levine, Metropolitan Orchestra and Chorus. Three acts. 264 minutes. 1992. Traditional sets and costumes.

We will watch the opera Bayreuth style: the first two acts with an intermission between acts. After the second act we will pause for a light meal, and then refreshed, view the conclusion (Act III). The usual array of beverages will be available throughout the event.

Note: the recurring leitmotif of the Grail was not composed by Wagner but borrowed by him. It's the "Dresden Amen," a short bit of music used by church choirs, especially in Dresden. Mendelssohn incorporated it into his "Resurrection" symphony as well.

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  • Peter F

    I enjoyed this beautiful production immensely--singing, acting, sets and the mystical aura. Very enjoyable as well was the fine food provided by Steve and others. Many thanks.

    December 7, 2013

  • Steve L.

    The music is often glorious. Levine lived up to his reputation of squeezing every bit of beauty from every note, at the expense of forward momentum, making a slow moving opera slower. Kurt Moll's bass as Guernemanz is unsurpassed and Waltraud Meir was, as usua, l quite wonderful as singer, actress, seductress. Siegfried Jerusalem convincingly played the teenage-innocent and a powerful adult leader of the knights. "Parsifal" is an exhausting opera but is always worth the effort.

    December 7, 2013

  • Jill S


    December 7, 2013

  • John A. Aiken, Jr. (.

    I thought it was slow in places, but it had some excellent singing, good production (as one expects from the NY Met) and some beautiful music,

    December 7, 2013

  • Grace L.

    Excellent production!

    December 7, 2013

  • Joel A.

    Beautiful music but the action is so slow. i nodded a couple of times.....sorry! Dinner was super. Thank you, Steve!

    December 7, 2013

  • Kassi

    I'm unfortunately sick, but hoping to be well enough after another day of rest to make Donezetti on Sunday...

    December 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like Bayreuth style. Thanks

    August 18, 2013

  • John A. Aiken, Jr. (.

    I posted my vote in the poll and will repeat it here at somewhat greater length. I would prefer a single sitting on a weekend day. I have no reason at this point to prefer Sunday over Saturday, except that it would be a bit easier for me to have it on Saturday and not have to rush out of church in Chapel Hill to get there in time for a 12:45 gathering and 1:00 showing on Sunday.

    August 18, 2013

  • Grace L.

    Of course with style spelled correctly. Sorry about that.

    August 18, 2013

  • Grace L.

    I vote for Bayreuth stile! I really feel the experience should be in one afternoon!

    August 18, 2013

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