Parsifal

 

[Caution. PR from Challenge Records on this is fragmentary and confusing. This Dutch National Opera Parsifal was directed by Pierre Audi first in 2012, and the show was reprised in 2016 with many singers appearing in both productions. The front cover art might be from 2016. But it appears this recording is of the 2012 show.]

Wagner Parsifal opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2012 by Pierre Audi at the Dutch National Opera.  Stars Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester (Amfortas), Mikhail Petrenko (Titurel /Klingsor), Falk Struckmann (Gurnemanz), Christopher Ventris (Parsifal), Petra Lang (Kundry), Jean-Léon Klosterman (First Knight of the Grail), Roger Smeets (Second Knight of the Grail), Lisette Bolle, Rosanne van Sandwijk, Erik Slik, Jeroen de Vaal (4 Esquires), Lisette Bolle, Inez Hafkamp, Tomoko Makuuchi, Rosanne van Sandwijk, Oleksandra Lenyshyn, Melanie Greve (6 Flower Maids), and Marieke Reuten (Voice from Above).  Ivan Fischer conducts the Royal  Concertgebouw, the Choir of the Dutch National Opera, and the "Kickers" of the Waterland Youth Music School. Sets by Anish Kapoor; costumes by Christof Hetzer; lighting by Jean Kalman; choreography by Gail Skrela; dramaturgy by Klaus Bertisch. TV director was Misjel Vermeiren. Technical information not announced. Released 2017. Grade: NA

Mike Ashman in the August 2017 Gramophone (page 92) approves of this disc as follow: "Well filmed and recorded, this is an essential purchase for Lang and for Audi's direction, a straight but strong rival to existing competition from Barenboim/Kupfer and Nagano/Lehnhoff." Ashman believes that Wagner did not intend for Parsifal to be a Christ figure. Those who see this opera as a Christian allegory will perhaps reject this production as did at least 2 articulate Amazon customers who wrote damning reviews.

If I could have one wish come true in 2018, it would be for some kind soul who has all the Parsifal Blu-rays to come forward with balanced comments on all of them to share with our readers.

Below is a clip that appears to be from the 2012 performance. (There are other new-looking and prettier clips that maybe were made in 2016.)