Wagner's Parsifal from Covent Garden

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday at 1 pm, join us for a broadcast of the Royal Opera House's production of Wagner's Parsifal. It features Simon O’Neill in the title role, Gerald Finley as Amfortas, King of the Knights of the Holy Grail, Willard White as the evil Klingsor, and Angela Denoke as the cursed Kundry. 

This Wagnerian tale is based on a 13th century German version of Arthurian legend. It 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.

→ Read the Full Parsifal Libretto
→ More about the Royal Opera House Production

Cast:
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Parsifal: Simon O’Neill
Kundry: Angela Denoke
Gurnemanz: René Pape
Amfortas: Gerald Finley
Klingsor: Willard W. White
Titurel: Robert Lloyd
First Knight: David Butt Philip
Second Knight: Charbel Mattar
First Esquire: Dušica Bijelić
Second Esquire: Rachel Kelly
Third Esquire: Sipho Fubesi
Fourth Esquire: Luis Gomes
First Flowermaiden: Celine Byrne
Second Flowermaiden: Kiandra Howarth
Third Flowermaiden: Anna Patalong
Fourth Flowermaiden: Anna Devin
Fifth Flowermaiden: Ana James
Sixth Flowermaiden: Justina Gringyte
Chorus: Royal Opera Chorus

Comments [13]

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

What one derives most satisfaction from often pervades their lifestyle for their lifetime. Since age 10 I have been combining my love of Shakespeare's ouevre, Wagner's music dramas, singing and composing. Right now at 3:45 AM i am composing, halfway through, my third opera, tentatively entitled "The Practical Shakespeare." Shakespeare's philosophy throughout his exactly 52 years of life [he died on his 52nd birthday, April 23, 1616] he sought to express reality as in "The Merchant of Venice," where he rightly depicts Shylock as Venetians of that era saw him. Many as in the Klinghoffer opera cast aspersions of anti-Semitism on John Adams and his librettist whereas they both are merely honing in on the sentiments, strong emotional views of certain partisans. Nothing is entirely black and white. There is a saving grace in abject despondency if one can manage to face up to the challenges that each of us have throughout our lives. Some of the greatest discoveries in science came about after many false starts. Thomas Alva Edison explained his own experience, "Now I know what does not work." I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"], teacher of voice production and I train and coach big-voiced singers in the Wagner rep and actors in the Shakespeare oeuvre. www.WagnerOpera.com

Nov. 16 2014 04:04 AM

What the heck does

mean?

DD~~

Nov. 16 2014 01:57 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Today's standards of opera performance disregard the prime requisite of the need for real voices, not just aural surrogates for the printed score. In today's broadcast the only real Wagnerian voice was that of Rene Pape. The orchestra and chorus were exemplary under the perceptive direction of Antonio Pappano. One of my voice teachers at Juilliard was Martial Singher who was vocally considered the warmest interpreter of the role of Amfortas. He also taught James King whose career encompassed both the Wagner rep and the Richard Strauss heroes. The broadcast has now concluded. www.WagnerOpera.com

Nov. 15 2014 05:29 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

WILLARD WHITE vocally and textwise acquitted himself admirably, but the tenor SIMON O'NEILL's nasality and lack of differentiation, singing every word and every part of every word exactly the same without nuance in an unattracive nasal timbre lacked the heroic quality of voice identified with the role of PARSIFAL .The Kundry, ANGELA DENOKE is at adequate vocally and musically for the role of Kundry more than a match for the Pinkerton, not Parsifal, voice of SIMON O'NEILL. Broadcast of Act 2 has just completed. www.WagnerOpera.com

Nov. 15 2014 04:10 PM
The Marschallin from Manhattan

Kenneth Bennett Lane:
I would read your elucubrations if you did not use capital letters in such unruly way... I will not know if you have anything of value to say when you SHOUT like this! Can an old dog learn new trick?

Nov. 15 2014 03:43 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

I meant to write ROBERT LLOYD as Titurel, not WILLARD WHITE, who is now heard as Klingsor in Act two.
ROBERT LLOYD was once an outstanding Gurnemanz, but he was disappointing vocally as Titurel.

Nov. 15 2014 03:03 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

MARGARETE MATZENAUER, the legendary dramatic soprano and mezzo at the MET OPERA during the truly Golden Ageof , was penalized for her performance outside of BAYREUTH [at the MET] by being forbidden ever again to sing at BAYREUTH after that. I meant to write that FRIEDRICH SCHORR was the AMFORTAS and with KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD, LAURITZ MELCHIOR, MARGARETE MATZENAUER, KARIN BRANZELL and ALEXANDER KIPNIS made up the most famous and accomplished WAGNER GOLDEN AGE of singing in the entire history of opera. At Manhattan School of Music I studied voice with FRIEDRICH SCHORR and KARIN BRANZELL. SIMON O'NEILL's voice is too small, too thin too light-textured for the role of Parsifal, WILLARD WHITE's voice has a tremolo and is not the voice I knew he had years ago. RENE PAPE STILL is a dominant presence vocally, musically and dramaturgically. www.WagnerOpera.com The broadcast of Act One has just ended.

Nov. 15 2014 02:53 PM
The Marschallin from Manhattan

There are two versions of the synopsis by the Met, one for the Met in HD on March 2, 2013, and one from 4/12/03, not much better! But who can produce a logical short version of this?

Nov. 15 2014 01:29 PM

Actually Parsifal was performed many times before the Met did it BUT they were in concert form. The Met was the one who dared to put on a staged version & Bayreuth sued. I like Schorr but George London's 1951 Bayreuth Amfortas can't be topped. He had the dynamic range & vocal range which Schorr did not have.

Nov. 15 2014 01:18 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

CBC: Si che freddo oggi. Went shopping this morning and froze. Hope you are well. Looking forward to today's broadcast. There is a film called Excalibur, not a great film but I try to catch Percival kneeling before the Holy Grail and the Good Friday music is played. I have a recording of Toscanini conducting and it positively shimmers.
Stay well, keep warm.

Nov. 15 2014 10:11 AM
L.Lubin from Ft. Lee, NJ

Whoever wrote the synopsis above has a very warped perspective on this opera's plot!

Nov. 15 2014 10:03 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

PARSIFAL's cast today is promising in that distinguished real voice singers and a conductor who "knows the score" is at the helm. RENE PAPE, the Gurnemanz should steal the show. ROBERT LLOYD as Titurel is uber casting for the pivotal but small role and WILLARD WHITE, the ultimate Porgy in his youth, is the Klingsor. On recordings there are testaments to great performers in the PARSIFAL roles. I was lucky to have studied voice production with ALEXANDER KIPNIS {Gurnemanz) famous for his recordings with SIEGFRIED WAGNER, Wagner's son, who also was a composer and conductor, JEROME HINES [Gurnemanz] with whom I performed in his opera I AM THE WAY, MARGARETE MATZENAUER {Kundry] who in 1921 gave the MET OPERA's opportunity to perform PARSIFAL with a distinguished BAYREUTH interpreter of the role. The Met's production was the first outside of BAYREUTH and was vehemently opposed by BAYREUTH which had wanted to have exclusivity in producing the music drama. MATZENAUER sang many performances at the MET OPERA in 5 languages as dramatic soprano and as mezzo and many opposite CARUSO, including his first Rhadames. The greatest of all Wagnerian heldenbaritons, FRIEDRICH SCHORR was my first teacher, vocally and coach for the Wagner rep. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"], teacher of voice production and I train and coach big-voiced singers in the Wagner rep and actors in the Shakespeare oeuvre. www.WagnerOpera.com

Nov. 15 2014 08:51 AM

CBC CHE FREDDA OGGI! on paper this seems like a great, Pape - the greatest Gur, we have, Lloyd has been singing for decades at CG, Sir Willard White - I have complete Ring of his Wotan, the voice is precise and beautiful, O'Neill & Denoke are at the top of their class. I am loooking forward for this b'cast. state buon' e calda. All my best.

Nov. 15 2014 12:23 AM

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