Written September 03, 2015
Magnificent singing, orchestral playing, and conducting. And of course the music is sublime. But the staging, much of it, is absurd. Wagner audibly groaning in his grave. When directors (François Girard, in this instance) radically "interpret" a work to make an individual, narcissistic statement, blithely disregarding and contradicting some of the basic features envisioned by its creator, things can go amiss, as they do here in the third act. Schade.... But of course seeing it live in HD is better than actually being at the Met itself.
Written July 02, 2015
Although one could quarrel with some of the artistic choices -- people sloshing around in pools of blood, for example -- overall this was a wonderful experience. The singing was magnificent. A great day at the opera.
Written May 24, 2015
You really need to be a devoted Wagner fan to get through Parsifal. It was beautifully sung and staged. Loved every minuet of it.
Written November 26, 2015
Kaufmann was amazing, and Dalayman and Mattei were outstanding. Pape was marvelous, and nearly stole the show. The production, including sets, projections and costumes, were very effective. As usual, the intermission interviews were interesting and informative.
Written August 29, 2015
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.