Monday, April 4, 2011

Smashing production of Parsifal at Theater Basel

Benedikt von Peter is huge. Over the past several years we had a series of extraordinary productions of Parsifal, which started with the memorable production at the Paris opera by Krzysztof Warlikowski. Then a knockout show by Stefan Herheim in Bayreuth [definitely pilgrimage worthy!] Last year Calixto Bieito stunned us by a straightforward, clean and poignant Parsifal in Stuttgart [currently rerun in Stuttgart], and this year's big Parsifal was at La Monnaie in Brussels -- totally different, philosophically challenging show produced by grandissimo Romeo Castellucci.

Benedikt von Peter does it his own way. He shares with Stefan Herheim that deconstructionist approach to opera producing but goes beyond as far as striving to a "total theater" research is concerned. The show happens in the entrance hall, in the stands, in the latteral entrances to the auditorium, in front of the pit and of course on the stage. It is an event, a happening that tells the story on at least three level.

Benedikt von Peter and maestro Axel Kober

This was a superb premiere night tonight (April 3rd 2011), and I would like to recommend this show to all of you guys who are interested in edgy, nontrivial and intelligent productions --if you like Parsifal, then this is definitely extraordinary a show.

There are no stars among singers but they are all good, some are very good, and some are truly excellent (Parsifal, Gurnemanz). My definite discovery was Kundry -- Ursula Füri-Bernhard. Who is that wonder-woman and how come we didn't know for her before? That intensity is unheard of!

Ursula Füri-Bernhard and Allan Evans

Theater Basel once again strikes the big one and proves why it was elected the best European opera house in 2009 and in 2010. There will be one more premiere at Th.Basel before summer - a show by Tobias Kratzer (who also was at the premiere tonight)

Will write more about the show later this week. Cheers


  1. Je suis allé voir Parsifal à Bâle à cause de votre note enthousiaste, et je ne l'ai vraiment pas regretté (Ursula Füri-Bernhard est vraiment stupéfiante). Les intentions du metteur en scène ne sont pas toujours évidentes à la première vision, mais il y a de nombreuses excellentes idées).
    Merci beaucoup !

  2. Bonjour Philippe! Merci pour ce post et je suis content que ça t'a plu.

    Je ferai un petit CR quand je trouve un peu du temps libre.