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Interesting, Rick. Eliot would've been charmed!

Thanks for sharing,
CR

On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> It sounds utterly dreary and overdone to me. But it also seems unlike TWL
> because the poem is not at all dreary.
> N
>
> >>> "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml',[log in to unmask]);>> 10/13/15 7:54 AM
> >>>
> I'm sharing a search of mine that brought up this where
> "The inspiration for the whole production seems to be T. S. Eliot’s The
> Waste Land"
> http://www.operatoday.com/content/2010/07/parsifal_on_blu.php
>
> 13 Jul 2010
> Parsifal on Blu-Ray
> [by Daniel Albright]
>
> In 1881 Wagner and his wife were discussing the myth of Eros and Anteros,
> and Wagner remarked, “Anteros is Parsifal.” Wagner considered Parsifal a
> figure opposed to sexual love, Eros’s opposite. But maybe he didn’t imagine
> a staging of his opera quite as anti-erotic as the Badener Lehrstück
> version found on this DVD.
>
> This is an impressive performance. Nikolaus Lehnhoff places the opera at
> the burnt-out end of the road: a railroad track breaks off in the middle of
> nothing; the floor of the Grail castle curves up steeply at the back, until
> the chairs shoot out directly from the wall—it’s a castle in a different
> dimension, unavailable to human beings. The Grail knights look cadaverous
> in Act 1, and in Act 3 are dusty remnants of cadavers. Amfortas is a single
> big wound, wrapped in mummy bandages; Titurel is a figure from nightmare, a
> skeleton in chain mail, his hands mere phalanx-bones tipped with long
> claws. The inspiration for the whole production seems to be T. S. Eliot’s
> The Waste Land, a poem in which elements from the story of the Fisher King
> and the Grail Knight are perched uncomfortably on a ruined industrial
> landscape, where the river sweats oil and tar, and the taxi throbs and
> waits.
>
> If Klingsor’s magic garden is magical, it is a sour sort of magic. The
> Kabuki Klingsor inhabits a sphere, as if he were in a subspace of his own,
> yet another orthogonal from the plane of reality; his castle is a magnified
> female pelvis-bone, a sort of Bowel of Bliss. The flower-maidens wear
> unadorned shifts, flowery only in that the sleeves crescendo out into great
> bell; Kundry herself is almost immobile, encased in a carnation-ball of
> petals; slowly she divests herself of her costume, unburdens herself of the
> director’s system of metaphor, becomes an urgent, furiously sexy presence.
> When the castle collapses, some bits of rubble fall on the stage, but since
> the stage has been basically rubble from the opera’s beginning, the
> presence of yet more dreck is not strongly felt.
>
> This is Nietzsche’s dream production of Parsifal, stripped of most of the
> Christian elements that he loathed. When Parsifal enters in Act 3, he
> stalks in all in black, wearing a harness of arrows arranged in a fan, and
> a helmet of raven feathers, as if he were both St. Sebastian and hell’s own
> Papageno (that pure fool of another age). Wagner asks him to transfigure
> and be transfigured; but Lehnhoff offers him little of either, though he
> allows Parsifal to assist the death-eager in the process of dying.
>
> The singing is good, especially Waltraud Meier’s alert, beautifully felt
> Kundry, and Christopher Ventris’ smartly foolish Parsifal. Thomas Hampson’s
> voice is a little soft-grained for Amfortas, but he is, as usual, good to
> hear; Matti Salminen is authoritatively irritable as Gurnemanz; Bjarni Thor
> Kristinsson—strong, not at all aged, with a kind of beyond-the-grave
> heartiness—makes more of Titurel than I would have thought possible. The
> Blu-Ray image is sharp—seeing the production with such clarity seems to
> intensify the intelligence of Lehnhoff’s extremely intelligent design.
>