Parsifal in pictures
19 Feb 2019
19 Feb 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Klingsor’s magic garden of bliss, a group of flirtatious Flower Maidens await to lure his victims into temptation.
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.
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.