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Jonas Kaufmann © Gregor Hohenberg / Sony Music

Wagner Parsifal

From 01 April TO 11 April 2021
Wiener Staatsoper - Wien
Program

Wagner : Parsifal

Cast
  • Conductor
    Philippe Jordan
  • Director
    Kirill Serebrennikov
  • Performers
    Parsifal: Jonas Kaufmann
    Kundry: Elina Garanca
    Amfortas: Ludovic Tézier
    Gurnemanz: Georg Zeppenfeld
    Klingsor: Wolfgang Koch
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Wiener Staatsoper - Wien Location Opernring 2 - 1010 Wien Autriche

  • Venue's Capacity: 1709

The Venue's History in few words …

The Vienna State Opéra is much more than just a local institution; it is a vital part of the city's identity and a national landmark.

 

As of the 17th century, the Hapsburgs lavishly patronized the opéra. Family members Ferdinand III and Leopold I composed for the théâtre, while Charles VI tried his hand at conducting the orchestra, and the Empress Maria-Theresa often mingled with the corps de ballet.

 

During the 19th century, the Karntnerthor-Theater was demolished and the présent building was constructed on the famous " Ring ". It was here that Mahler, with the help of the set designer Alfred RoUer, imposed a new style of performance, based on audacious stagings and a very précise interprétation ofthe score, which demanded countless rehearsals.

 

After the fall of the Hapsburgs, Richard Strauss took over the reins of the newly baptized Vienna State Opéra. Curiously enough, only one of Strauss'operas, THE WOMAH WITHOUT A SHADOW, was premiered in Vienna. Clemens Krauss and Karl Bôhm were to follow in his footsteps. Under Bôhm's direction, the Opera created its own Company, which was to serve as a model for several générations. Even the bombs that destroyed the opéra house in 1945 could not prevent singer s such as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac or Erich Kunz from becoming legendary.

 

One musn't think that the Viennese applaud only their homegrown stars. In 1955, when Maria Callas came to sing LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR in the reconstructed building with Karajan conducting, the public blocked traffic to pay tribute to the diva... in the street! Karajan succeeàed Karl Bôhm, and invited many international stars to corne sing on the Viennese stage. Works were henceforth sung in their language of origin, and coproductions with La Scala permitted the disco-very of voices such as that of Mirella Freni in LA BOHEME.

 

Ioan Holender has suceeded in deftly combining these international distributions with an ensemble System. He has scheduled many works never heard on the Viennese stage, which are now included in the Opera's répertoire, such as Verdi's JERUSALEM and Enesco's OEDIPE, furthering a policy instated under Claudio Abbado's brilliant direction. Whatever changes may now occur, the Opera will continue to stage at least 300 performances per season (an absolute world record ren-dered feasible thanks to the în-house technical crew, which hires no less than 250 people), and the public will continue to applaud the finest orchestra any amateur could wish for in the pit : the Vienna Philharmonie !

Wiener Staatsoper

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Parsifal

PARSIFAL, A GREAT ADVENTURE

This opera in 3 acts by Richard Wagner is based on the much loved Arthurian legend and tells of a knight's quest.
Although Wagner first began work on the opera in 1857 it actually took him 25 years to complete, and the opera was first performed at the second Bayreuth Festival which took place in 1882, and for 20 years thanks to a ban imposed by Wagner and then by his wife, the opera was only performed at Bayreuth.
The opera is based on a 13th century poem in the epic style by Wolfram von Eschenbach following the story of the knight, Parzival or Percival is he was commonly known. It was the last opera that Wagner wrote and though it is agreed that the music and scenes are beautiful, the story is known to be difficult. The name Parzival or Percival can be translated as 'pure fool'.

HISTORY

Set in and around the magical castle of Monsalvat in northern Spain, the knights of the Grail are concerned about their ruler Amfortas who suffers from a wound that will not be cured.

Act 1

The brotherhood of the Holy Grail are in a forest near their castle. The eldest knight Gurnemanz is concerned about the King of the Grail, Amfortas who is incurably wounded. A seemingly ageless woman, Kundry has come to bring medicine for Amfortas. Amfortas was wounded when evil Klingsor took the holy spear and stabbed him.

Now Klingsor wants the grail too but it is said that a knight will come to put things right. A swan falls from the sky, struck by an arrow. The hunter, Parsifal is brought before Gurnemanz, who wonders if he is the one. A ritual is performed but the young squire just stares blankly so Gurnemanz sends him away.

Act 2

The young squire is wandering in the forest when he discovers Klingsor's castle and defeats all of his soldiers. Kundry seduces him and reminds him of his name which he had somehow forgotten, she promises that she can make him a god through her love but when she kisses him he feels Amfortas' pain and his mind can't think of anything except finding a cure for the king. When he asks Kundry how to get back to the knight's castle she curses him to wander lost in the forest. Klingsor tries to stop him leaving by attacking him with the spear that wounded Amfortas but the young squire take it from him and uses it to protect himself from the magic of Klingsor and Kundry.

Act 3

It is Good Friday many years later and our hero finally finds his way back to the Kingdom of the Grail. In the forest he meets Kundry and Gurnemanz who baptises him. They go to the castle to attend the funeral of Titurel, who recently died when Amfortas would not open the Grail. At the castle Amfortas is still refusing to perform the ritual even though the knights are demanding it.
He begs them to put him out of his misery by killing him. The knight enters, touches the spear to Amfortas' side and his wound is healed.

THE MAIN ROLES

Parsifal - a young squire -tenor
Kundry - soprano
Gurnemanz - leader of the Grail Knights - bass
Amfortas - the king - baritone
Klingsor- an evil magician and king - bass-baritone
Titurel - father of Amfortas father - bass

Wiener Staatsoper

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