of Parsifal are so rare that it is fair to describe this night in
the theatre as a once in a lifetime experience. I will admit to
some trepidation at the prospect of 6 hours in a theatre - but the
experience was so complete that time was almost on hold.
is hard to find adequate superlatives to describe the many components
of this production. It featured an outstanding orchestra, conducted
with flair, compassion and an unerring feeling for the drama by
Vladimir Jurowski. Well over 100 musicians played with total commitment,
impressive control and incredible stamina. At times the music was
overwhelming and at others, it was so delicate as to almost seem
to be coming from another room.
places immense demands on his singers. All of the principals were
more than up to the tasks set them. The most outstanding performance
- vocally and histrionically came from Sara Fulgoni as Kundry. She
was a magnetic stage presence, in complete charge of her vocal powers.
Even when not singing, she commanded the stage with her every move.
Maxwell was clearly relishing his words as the evil Klingsor. He
is a master of the stage and he dominated his scenes without upstaging
Reiter displayed an incredibly rich and flexible voice - very much
at home in this style of singing. He clearly was so at home with
the language and imagery that he stood out from others around him.
other principals was equally as impressive - as were the chorus.
It is a challenge for any company to undertake a production of Parsifal.
Welsh National Opera were clearly up to this challenge.
sell-out audience at the New Theatre clearly loved the performance
and were kept enraptured by the experience. It is understandable
that only one performance could be given in Oxford - given the demands
and scale of forces required. I would urge fans to try to catch
this production in one of the other venues on the tour (Birmingham
and Bristol are likely to be more attractive to local residents).
- in every respect.
Reviewed by Simon