Written February 15, 2016
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.
Written May 27, 2016
Fantastic opera. I will continue to come as long as you continue to carry the Met live HD operas. Well done.
Written March 03, 2013
One of the most extraordinary performances I've seen. The starting point is the divine music. But then add in a dream cast, the Met orchestra and chorus, and the very powerful new production, and you have the makings for a "perfect moment," when all the factors come together to make something that is transformative. The time flew by and I felt a sense of loss when it was done. The new production and direction really helped to underscore the story of Parsifal's journey, and the backstage glimpses during intermission were fascination.
Written November 29, 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 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.