As with all good myths, certainly all the myths at the heart of Wagner’s operas, the juggling of symbols and archetypes and themes in Parsifal opens the piece to a great variety of interpretations. Many recent productions have twisted things in a way that seemed to strain or defy Wagner’s intricate libretto and lush, meticulous score: gray springtimes in a world beyond nuclear or environmental holocaust, that sort of thing. But the world of Wagner’s tale is, like our own, a world in crisis, on a razor’s edge. That’s bound to resonate with contemporary directors. They then have many options in setting out the workings of the crisis in this fable of a solution to whatever may be broken. Read more »
“Like the hero of Parsifal, who finds the Holy Grail after a lifetime of frustrated wandering, the Met’s audience was finally rewarded for its patience: On Friday, after seasons of mediocrity, the company delivered a magnificent new production of Wagner’s valedictory work.” [New York Post]
Wagner is becoming an important calling card for Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre. After releasing a well-received Parsifal on its recording label in 2010, the St. Petersburg troupe is marking the bicentennial of the composer’s birth with a buzzworthy new Ring cycle culled from a series of performances and recording sessions featuring the likes of Jonas Kaufmann, Rene Pape, Nina Stemme and Anja Kampe.
With that kind of international star power, the set is probably destined for commercial success. For some, it will also add kindling to the debate about Gergiev’s strengths in this repertory. Read more »
Leave it to a cat to transform a Wagner festival into the Jellicle Ball.
Certain opera productions become the stuff of legend as much for the circumstances surrounding the performance as for the musical results.
“Now that it has become apparent that Robert Lepage‘s production of the Ring at the Met is a fiasco (too soon? Nah.)… well, anyway, since arguably the production is a dreary, unworkable, overpriced mess whose primary (perhaps only) virtue is that it actually hasn’t killed anyone yet, and since, let’s face it, the Machinecentric show turned out to be so mind-bogglingly expensive (all those Sunday tech rehearsals with stagehands being paid, no doubt, in solid platinum ingots!), something has to be done. In this article, I intend to propose that ‘something’.” Our Own JJ gets prescriptive at Musical America. (Image based on photos by Ken Howard)
From the Met press office: “Jay Hunter Morris will sing the role of Siegfried in Siegfried on April 21 matinee and April 30, 2012, and in Götterdämmerung on May 3, 2012. He replaces Gary Lehman who has withdrawn due to illness.”
La Cieca (not pictured) was just leaked the information that the next planned revival of the Met’s Ring production (after next season) will be in the spring of 2017, i.e., about five years from now. That’s handy, because five years is the approximate lead time of casting big projects like these; the current crop of Wagnerians treading the Machine were selected circa 2007. A challenge for you, after the jump.
Stefan Herheim’s production of Parsifal for Bayreuth is the regie Holy Grail—a production that completely fulfills the promise and purpose of Regietheater.
Fertilization; birth; growth; decay. Eating; digestion; defecation; fermentation; biogas recovery; food production. Wagner’s Tannhäuser is a meditation on the relentless, repetition of cycles that define our existence and man’s insistence on the possibility salvation despite all the biochemical evidence to the contrary.