Richard Wagner: ParsifalJonas Kaufmann, Elina Garanča, Ludovic Tézier

247 min
Available from 18/04/2021 to 17/07/2021

With Jonas Kaufmann singing the title role, Ludovic Tézier the Grail King Amfortas, Georg Zeppenfeld Gurnemanz, and Elina Garanča making her debut as Kundry, the cast of Vienna’s new Parsifal production leaves nothing to be desired. Conducting is Philippe Jordan, who took over as musical director of the Vienna State Opera in September 2020.

The Knights of the Grail are in crisis as more and more of their number desert and enter the wondrous garden of Klingsor the magician. Not even King Amfortas was able to resist straying into that magical place, and it was there that Klingsor robbed him of the Holy Spear, inflicting on him a wound that will never heal. Amfortas’ ritual unveiling of the grail has been a torture to him ever since. Only a “pure fool” can reverse his lapse and undo its dire consequences.

The 2017 arrest and subsequent house arrest of Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov was a major international incident. Serebrennikov, who not only directed the Vienna Parsifal, but also designed the set and costumes, tells the story from the perspective of the mature Parsifal. The events of the first two acts therefore take the form of a flashback, so that only in Act 3 do we arrive in the narrator’s present.  

Serebrennikov associates the all-male domain of the Knights of the Grail with a prison complex, where so-called “hopeless cases,” meaning members of ethnic or religious minorities, are interned and left to their own devices. There, the young offender Parsifal is confronted with an initiation rite entailing both violence and ecstasy. The only woman in this hermetically sealed world populated exclusively by men is Kundry, whom Serebrennikov casts as a journalist driven by her interest in power structures. She operates in a grey area, yet at the same time becomes an accomplice of the internees…

  • With :
    • Jonas Kaufmann (Parsifal)
    • Elina Garanča (Kundry)
    • Ludovic Tézier (Amfortas)
    • Georg Zeppenfeld (Gurnemanz)
    • Wolfgang Koch (Klingsor)
    • Stefan Cerny (Titurel)
    • Nikolay Sidorenko (Parsifal, back then)
  • Director :
    • Kirill Serebrennikov, Evgeny Kulagin
  • Music director :
    • Philippe Jordan
  • Orchestra :
    • Wiener Staatsoper Orchestra
  • Choir :
    • Wiener Staatsopernchor
  • Sets :
    • Kirill Serebrennikov, Olga Pavluk
  • Costumes :
    • Kirill Serebrennikov, Tatiana Dolmatovskaya
  • Lighting :
    • Franck Evin
  • Video :
    • Aleksei Fokin, Yurii Karih
  • Country :
    • France
    • Austria
  • Year :
    • 2021