The Hungarian State Opera will mount the production of PARSIFAL
With a cast led by István Kovácsházi, Andrea Szántó, Károly Szemerédy and András Palerdi, the new production of Wagner’s last opera is staged by András Almási-Tóth and conducted by Balázs Kocsár at the renovated Opera House. The April 15, 2022 premiere is also streamed live on OperaVision, while the April 17 performance is a joint event of the Hungarian State Opera’s Bartók Spring and Müpa.
In Parsifal, his latest opera, Richard Wagner integrates fear of worldly temptations and sinful desires into a tale of redemption. The work is indeed “a Festival Piece for the Consecration of the Stage” rather than an opera. Many viewers – perhaps out of fear – criticized Wagner, who wrote both the libretto and the music, for what might be called the virtue and remarkable complexity of the piece, which is the personal tone with which he portrayed a religious theme combining notions of sacred and profane love.
Wagner expressly wrote Parsifal for his home cinema in Bayreuth, and it was the only place he was allowed to play until the end of 1913. The People’s Opera of Budapest (now Erkel Theater) gave a performance the very next day, on January 1, 2014, under the direction of the young Frigyes Reiner. The Royal Hungarian Opera (now the Hungarian State Opera) first staged the play in 1924 and gave 59 performances until World War II. Like Parsifal no longer corresponded to the ideology of the governing powers thereafter, it returned to the stage only after a plea by conductor János Ferencsik conducted by András Mikó for the centenary of Wagner’s death in 1983.
The production was in the repertoire for four decades and was played more than 90 times traditionally during the Easter period before saying goodbye in 2018. The artistic director’s new staging Andras Almasi-Toth was originally scheduled to premiere in 2020, but due to the pandemic it had to be postponed for two years. The sets and costumes evoking the present were designed by Sebastien Hannak and Lili Izsakthe choreography was performed by Dora Barta. The characteristics of the cast Istvan Kovacshazi in the title role, his on-stage partners are Mihály Kalmandy like Amfortas, Karoly Szemeredy like Klingsor, Andrea Szanto like Kundry, Andras Palerdi like Gurnemanz, and Istvan Racz as Titurel as well as Eszter Zavaros, Anna Csenge Furjes, Kiss of Tivadar, Barna Bartos (pages), Lilla Horti, Ildiko Megyimorecz, Lusine Sahakyan, Beatrice Fodor, Boglárka Brindás, Melinda Heiter (Ladies flowers), Jozsef Mukk, Andras Kaldi Kiss (Knights of the Grail), and Judit Nemeth (Mother of Parsifal / Voice from above). the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, Chorus (choirmaster : Gabor Csiki) and children’s choir (choirmaster : Nikolett Hajzer) are headed by the General Music Director Balazs Kocsar.
After the April 15 premiere, Parsifal to see on April 17 and 23. The April 17 performance is a joint Spring Bartók event of the Hungarian State Opera and Müpa, the April 15 premiere is broadcast live on OperaVision and can be viewed for six months afterwards.
Photo credits : Janos Kummer