Wagner's Parsifal from Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Paul Groves as the title hero in Lyric Opera’s production of Wagner’s “Parsifal.” Paul Groves as the title hero in Lyric Opera’s production of Wagner’s “Parsifal.” (Dan Rest/Lyric Opera of Chicago)

This Saturday at 1 pm, the Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Wagner's Parsifal featuring Paul Groves in the title role, Thomas Hampson as Amfortas, King of the Knights of the Holy Grail, Tómas Tómasson as the evil Klingsor, and Daveda Karanas as the cursed Kundry. 

This Wagnerian tale of good versus evil may be controversial, but even its fiercest critics have noted that the music is sublime. The story follows a King injured by his own weapon, the Holy Spear, at the hands of his nemesis Klingsor. The King's eldest knight claims to have had a vision that told him only a pure fool enlightened by compassion can heal the King's wounds. The opera follows Klingsor's struggle for supremacy and his subsequent battle against the young fool. 


Parsifal: Paul Groves
Kundry: Daveda Karanas
Amfortas: Thomas Hampson
Gurnemanz: Kwangchul Youn
Klingsor: Tómas Tómasson
Titurel: Rúni Brattaberg 

CONDUCTOR: Sir Andrew Davis
DIRECTOR: John Caird
CHORUS: Lyric Opera Chorus
CHORUS MASTER: Michael Black

Comments [8]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

JEALOUSY clearly is seen when one who castigates has NEVER HEARD OR SEEN the one to whom the hate is directed. HATRED consumes the hater mentally and physically. My good friend one of my mentors and colleague for many years the MET OPERA bass JEROME HINES was demonized and scorned for his religious beliefs and associates and for his concern for the less fortunate. He understood and forgave. Jerry was a true Christian. I have learned from his mentoring. I feel that I may understand and have pity for those whose obsession for anger and hate distills their reasoning and I wish them well who cannot confront their problem. I teach all the Wagner and have sung Wagner and since 10 years of age have been collecting both the piano/vocal ascores nd partiturs, full orchestral scores, of all of Wagner's operas in many editions by many publishers

Jun. 08 2014 08:13 AM

Sorry to contradict Mr.Lane but Kundry's Geleit is an optional High B natural. It's in the vocal score. The most eggregious vocal fault was on "LACHte" which goes from High B Natural down to C sharp. It should shock. Instead she muffed it. The cast was poor.

Jun. 08 2014 12:50 AM

At least he's stopped all of the "I am a heldentenor and sang yada-yada-" crap.

Grain of salt recommended.


Jun. 07 2014 08:21 PM
Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

Dear Mr. "WAGNERIAN TENOR" Lane, after reading your various critiques (and couldn't you just wait until the performance was over - you come across as a sports announcer and a Tim McCarver you're not) of today's performers whom I enjoyed (in varying degrees) I was ready to give you a good shellacking but I thought better of it and instead drove down to the mailbox to clear my head. So, now that I've done that, I want to ask you one question and offer you one piece of advice. First the question: What part of role debut don't you understand and were you always pluperfect the first time you essayed something and did you never have an off day where you needed to pace yourself to get through a difficult piece??? The piece of advice: from Shakespeare via Boito, "Temete, signor, la gelosia!" That's how your diatribes sounded to me. You needn't reply because from now on I'm disregarding anything you have to say.

Jun. 07 2014 06:07 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

THOMAS HAMPSON, the Amfortas, in his Act Three scene has a tremolo and his singing voice has no beauty and no ping and is raspy. SAD, SAD, SAD ! The Third Act, the opera's final moments, has just now concluded.

Jun. 07 2014 05:15 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Having heard PAUL GROVES, the Parsifal, in the second act opposite the Kundry, DAVEDA KARANAS, one is instantly aware that his voice is NOT EVEN a jugendliche heldentenor, young heroic tenor. It is laughable that he could be envisioned as a Parsifal. His voice lacks the thrust, the point, the ring, the proper focus, the fullness for a Parsifal. The Klihgsor, TOMAS TOMASSON just screams out his role. The Kundry, DAVEDA KARANAS, does not hold her high notes their full value. And her GELEIT, final word of her singing in Act Two, which is written to end on a high B natural, SHE TAKES DOWN TO SING AN OCTAVE LOWER B NATURAL ! This is NOT a Broadway musical. THIS IS WAGNER and should be sung as written. Maestro ANDREW DAVIS and chorus director MICHAEL BLACK have done themselves proud by the distinction of their "teams." A Wagnerian heldentenor myself, I sang an All-Wagner concert in New York on Sunday June 1st, beginning a repriese of my 12 hours of singing Wagner and other composers in the main hall of Carnegie Hall in four three hour long concerts at the Isaac Stern Auditorium.. On Saturday October 18th, I will sing another ALL-WAGNER concert in New York. Details will be in the newspapers.

Jun. 07 2014 04:20 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

From hearing only the broadcast and not being present, live, at the venue, the sonic qualities are the only ones one may discuss. It is clear that the orchestra and the chorus are the true stars of this production. The Titurel, RUNI BRATTABERG, has the appropriate deep bass FOR THE ROLE. What has happened to THOMAS HAMPSON, the Amfortas.? His vocal ine is cobnstantly disrupted by questionable unfocussed attempts at dramatic emphasis with a jagged wretched underpowered delivery.So sad, he was once a model of vocal production. The Gurnemanz, KWANGCHUL YOUN, has a tremolo in stressed passages. Act One has now concluded on this broaqdcast.

Jun. 07 2014 02:47 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Looking forward to hearing Sir Andrew Davis' conducting of PARSIFAL and THOMAS HAMPSON'S Amfortas.

Jun. 07 2014 11:45 AM

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