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The Sunday Opera: Wagner's "Parsifal" from Toulouse

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BECAUSE OF THE LENGTH OF THIS WEEK’S OPERA, ALL SUBSEQUENT PROGRAMMING WILL BEGIN ONE HOUR LATER THIS EVENING.

The Sunday Opera takes us to France once again (9/12 3:00 p.m.), but this time, we’re off to the Opera du Capitole de Toulouse for a production of Wagner’s “Parsifal.”   This is the tale of the fabled knight of the title (Nikolai Shukoff) who overcomes many obstacles, including amnesia, to save the life of the king of the Grail kingdom, Amfortas (Matthias Goerne).  One of those obstacles sent by the evil magician Klingsor (Pierre-Yves Pruvot) is Kundry (Sophie Koch), the messenger of the Grail who appears as an old crone until Klingsor summons her from her sleep and transforms her into a beautiful woman who is sent to seduce Parsifal from his task.   Kundry fails and calls on Klingsor to kill Parsifal who shows no pity for her suffering, but when Klingsor throws the spear that pierced Christ’s side at Parsifal, Parsifal catches it, and Klingsor’s realm vanishes along with his curse on Kundry.   After years of wandering, Parsifal eventually returns to the kingdom of the Grail where he finds Amfortas longing for death.  However, with the power of the spear and grail, he restores Amfortas’ health, and the kingdom is renewed.   The cast also includes Peter Rose as Gurnemanz, a veteran knight of the Grail, and Julien Veronese as Amfortas’ father, Titurel.   Frank Beermann conducts.  

Even though the opera runs longer than four hours, we will still have time for more music, and we’ll turn to Wagner for his Symphony in C major performed by the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra with Jun Markl conducting and the Ode to the Evening Star from “Tannhauser” performed by The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carmen Dragon.