March 3, 2013
Great Performance of a Mixed Bag
Let's face it. By the time he composed and wrote the lyrics for "Parsifal," Richard Wagner was full of himself and way over-the-top in his love for pagan mysticism, ambiguity, and the horn section of major orchestras. The music he composed for his final opera is outstanding. The singers in this Met production were great. The direction, by the man who gave us the fine film "32 Short Films Abour Glenn Gould," was excellent, if a bit too much like Harry Potter Meets Darth Vader at times. The orchestra was the best. The videography of this HD perfiormance was very, very good -- amazing close ups. The sound reproduction, while not quite high fidelity, was pretty good; at least the volume level was appropriate for a change.
But the story, if that's what we call it here, is the pits. What are we to make of Wagner's melange of Catholicism, sexism (women replace Jews as foils), relic veneration, and downright stupidity in plot creation?
Go for the music. Ignore the rest.
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