Parsifal in pictures

19 Feb 2019

Take a sneak peek at our sleek new production of Parsifal and see how the hero’s journey from ‘pure fool’ to saviour unfolds.

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Parsifal (Burkhard Fritz) and chorus members. Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

Parsifal is Victorian Opera’s biggest production ever with a cast of 83 singers, 88 musicians from the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO), 128 costumes, 95 pairs of shoes, 21 wigs and 15 hats.

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Gurnemanz (Peter Rose) and Parsifal (Burkhard Fritz). Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

Wagner’s final opera is the mythical story of a naïve young man called Parsifal, who encounters a group of noble knights after recklessly shooting a sacred swan. The knights are in trouble and await ‘an innocent fool, enlightened by compassion’ to be their saviour.

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Amfortas (James Roser). Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

Amfortas and his brotherhood of knights protect the Holy Grail and the Sacred Spear, relics from the time of Christ. Each time the Grail is unveiled in a ritual ceremony, it nourishes the knights and extends their mortality but causes Amfortas great pain from the incurable wound in his side.

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Klingsor (Derek Welton) and Kundry (Katarina Dalayman). Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

The evil sorcerer Klingsor has stolen the Sacred Spear and used it to wound Amfortas. Seeking revenge after being rejected by the brotherhood, Klingsor has turned to black magic to destroy the knights.

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Parsifal (Burkhard Fritz) and Flower Maidens. Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

In Klingsor’s magic garden of bliss, a group of flirtatious Flower Maidens await to lure his victims into temptation. 

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Kundry (Katarina Dalayman). Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

Also working for Klingsor is Kundry, an enigmatic wild woman who changes from servant of the knights to wanton temptress. Unable to die, she can only be released from her living damnation by the man who resists her charms.

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Klingsor (Derek Welton), Parsifal (Burkhard Fritz) and Kundry (Katarina Dalayman). Photo: Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera

Steeped in Christian and Buddhist philosophy, Parsifal is a reflection on compassion and resisting desire in the face of suffering. Parsifal must face a series of trials and tribulations before he learn the true meaning of compassion and can become the Grail king. 

Victorian Opera performed Parsifal as part of Season 2019.