Stephen Langridge’s “contemporary but timeless” Parsifal triumphs in London

3 December 2013

Stephen Langridge‘s production of Parsifal for the Royal Opera House has received glowing praise across national and international press. The only new-production of a Wagner work at Covent Garden during the bicentenary celebrations, Parsifal is designed by regular collaborator Alison Chitty whose bold visual design binds the production together, leaving a powerful impression on the audience.

Acclaiming the premiere as a triumph, Andrew Clark, who gave the show 5-stars in the Financial Times, describes the production as “contemporary but timeless” and “continually mesmerising”, saying that “the bottom line is that Langridge has divined a Parsifal of intellectual fibre and visual eloquence”.

Andrew Clements, writing in The Guardian (4-stars) says that Langridge “confronts this troubled and troubling piece unflinchingly”, whilst Barry Millington (Evening Standard/4-stars) says he “grapples intelligently with the big issues of this problematic work”.

Impressed by the power of the first act, the New York Times says Langridge leaves the audience “desperate to know what happens next” whilst “establishing the narrative superbly in a clear way that builds steady tension through extended time-spans and adopts a cool, considered line on Wagner’s pseudo-Christian ritualism”.

Returning to London for the first time in two years, world-renowned German bass René Pape received universal praise for his “immaculate, intense Gurnemanz, who makes every syllable in his narrations matter” (Guardian). The Daily Telegraph says “René Pape’s Gurnemanz is magnificently sung: nobly authoritative, but never pompous or barking” whilst Michael White’s New York Times reviews says “vocally the stars are René Pape whose Gurnemanz is easy, conversational but cavernously strong”.

The performance on Wednesday 18 December will be broadcast live to 903 cinemas worldwide.

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