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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Another MODERN Parsifal...BUT one that works - really!

all Photocredit to C. Barda
Sitting 5 hrs and 15 minutes (plus 2 15 min intermissions) through this intriguing take on OLD Richard's opus did require a strong gluteus maximus. And munchies from home.

Having seen a 'modern' version ala Robert Wilson at HGO some years ago, which did not impress me nor my fellow Parsifal goer today much, about which best said as little as possible (Kundry knoedelte her way in that one whilst mostly crawling around the floor..NOT), this one DID work very well.
As a matter of fact, I felt it clarified what Wagner tried to say about a wicked world which can be redeemed by a 'reiner Tor' pure fool. And another thing I liked about this presentation: limited backstage stuff during the pauses, which allows adequate time for stretching, moving about,  and visiting the facilities :-).
Sadly at the ROH (Royal Opera House) one could see champagne being sipped in the background, none available at ROT (River Oaks Theater)  ;-), for us water was it!

Although the lighting by Paul Pyant was basically dark except for the grail; and the design by Alison Chitty (seen her work at HGO in past years) a most unusual geometric (based on the cube) as well as drab costume colors, the feel was of cleanliness and clarity, IMO.

Sure, the flower maidens provided some bright color and glitz, as well as the chirping of  sweetly 'normal' female voices....the main attraction was for sure the singing of the principals.
And I found some of them well represented on YouTube, inserted below.

What a slew of strong male voices - singing in German which most did remarkably well, such as
Gerald Finley (of Dr. Atomic fame)-Amfortas; histrionically well done, voice ditto.
Rene Pape - Gurnemanz; IMO, he was THE best of those fabulous, stirring male voices; suave, sincere, easily understood, beautifully enunciated German (natural for him, I know..OK... OK) with the right shading in every instance!
Robert Lloyd - Titurel; as expected a still rich and sonorous sound -sadly just a short appearance-live that is, later he is seen dead :-)
Willard White -Klingsor; wow, a true sound, great stage presence..scary to say the least, as the evil Klingsor.
and Simon O'Neill- Parsifal, big stage presence, beautiful clarion type voice, a Heldentenor as one feels a Heldentenor ought to sound.

The strongest performance of all, IMO,came from Angela Denoke as Kundry, what power, expression, acting, artistry and looks...IT WAS the a-one icing on an already fabulous cake.
Directed by Stephen Langridge and conducted by Antonio Pappano who understood the Wagnerian notes, and there were a lot of them, amazingly well. The orchestra and chorus came up to expectations.

For more on ROH, and coming screenings worldwide visit www.rohuk.org/cinemas

I much recommend getting the DVD when available.. you will NOT REGRET it!

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