Iván Fischer makes his DNO debut. He conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Pierre Audi, artistic director of DNO and the Holland Festival, directs his first new DNO production since Saint François d'Assise (2008). For Parsifal Audi once again joins forces with the British sculptor Anish Kapoor (décor). Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester previously sang the role of Amfortas at the Opéra National de Paris and the Bayreuther Festspiele. Kurt Rydl (Titurel/Klingsor) made previous DNO appearances as Hagen/Hunding in Der Ring des Nibelungen and as Heinrich in Lohengrin. Kurt Rydl has been an honorary member of the Wiener Staatsoper since 1999. Falk Struckmann has frequently sung the role of Amfortas, but now makes his first DNO appearance in his role debut as Gurnemanz. The title role is sung by Christopher Ventris, who previously appeared at DNO as Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer. Petra Lang (Kundry) previously sang Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde and Venus in Tannhäuser at DNO.
Operalively.com: There were no weak links in the cast. Amfortas sounded suitably pained, very wobbly vibrato for it, but this very much worked. Gurnemanz was stoic and powerful. Klingsor was a rounded and full bass. Kundry has a truly bewitching voice, very powerful. Parsifal was definitely the stand out, always rising above the orchestra, his voice conveyed each emotion perfectly but was always perfectly clear and pure. Ivan Fischer’s interpretation is calm, subdued, crystal clear, chamber-like. It is generally brisk, but extremely flexible, and follows Wagner’s tempo changes to the letter. Nonetheless, one cannot help but be carried along with the waves of music, so that the final chords are absolutely overwhelming. The Concertgebouw, characteristically played stupendously. Beautiful phrasing, incredibly unity, and they just sound so incredibly beautiful.