Alvis Hermanis‘s new Production of Parsifal – streamed by Wiener Staatsoper live at home.
Parsifal © Credits: Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn
On 30 March 2017, in the Vienna State Opera celebrates the première of a new production of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. Semyon Bychkov is the conductor for the new production, with its première marking his 37th appearance at the Wiener Staatsoper.
Director Alvis Hermanis‘s concept for the production moves the action of Parsifal to the period before the First World War and to Vienna. The reason, says Hermanis, is that in terms of art and science Vienna was “a laboratory for the rest of the world.” Music, literature, visual arts, architecture, technology, medicine, research, and last but not least psychoanalysis were advanced in this centre of activity; Vienna was what “Silicon Valley is for the 21st century”. A central element is the hospital complex in Steinhof and Otto Wagner Church. For Hermanis, the search for the holy grail is also a search for spiritual development. Accordingly, Gurnemanz and Klingsor are two doctors vying for control over the minds of their patients. These patients – who include Amfortas – are not only present in the reality of the era around 1900, but are playing out the historical plot of the opera as therapy. And so these two timelines collide, and the outlines of theatre and reality, between appearance and existence become blurred.
The role of Parsifal is performed by Christopher Ventris, who has previously sung the role here eleven times. Nine Stemme sings the role of Kundry for the first time. The remaining cast comprises i.a. Gerald Finley as Amfortas, Jochen Schmeckenbecher as Klingsor and René Pape (30 March and 2 April 2017) / Kwangchul Youn (6, 9, 13 and 16 April 2017) as Gurnemanz.
PARSIFAL PERFORMANCE DATES: 30 March 2017, 2 | 6 | 9 | 13 | 16 April 2017