Saturday, March 10, 2012

Parsifal in Lyon (first photos)

Last night the best opera house in France --run by Serge Dorny-- premiered the long awaited production of Parsifal directed by François Girard. I did not see the show yet but will try and see it during this first run. It is a new production that was carefully prepared, rehearsed, and required lots of technical stage problems to be solved so that the premiere that was scheduled for March 6th had to be canceled (there is lots of blood and it was hard to contain it correctly and assure the safe replacement of the decor).
Now all is fine, first news say that the premiere was glitchless, Kazushi Ono [a meticulous man with a huge heart] his orchestra and the singers apparently great...
The cast indeed looks superb on the paper,
Nikolai Schukoff (Parsifal), Elena Zhidkova (Kundry), Gerd Grochowski (Amfortas),  Georg Zeppenfeld (Gurnemanz), Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester (Klingsor), Kurt Gysen (Titurel)...
 I'm especially pleased to see that our fave Georg Zeppenfeld sings one of the toughest bass roles in Lyon. I am quite confident his will be one of the history best interpretations of Gurnemanz.

This is the production that will travel to The Met next year and will be broadcast to the cinemas around the world. It will also be presented at the Canadian Opera Company.

More production photos below [©Philippe Merle] Production photos below look inviting:

See also this:

the official excerpts:

And a short video prepared by the local TLM:


  1. Looks absolutely fabulous if you ask me! Hope you get to see it, i'd love to read your thoughts on it :-)

  2. Hi H,

    If everything goes well I should see it in two week from now. :)

  3. Production photos are great but I always worry about prods with water (electricity+water not good) although I know Munich has done a prod with watery stage (Rusalka?). Makes me nervous to watch, though. Plus I find the sloshy sounds distracting. Still, photos & direction in film clip look wonderful. Can't wait!--Frafra

  4. Apparently there was just too much "blood" to handle for the stage facilities available at the Lyon opera, so to make it all safe they preferred to postpone the premiere.

    Otherwise, the watery scenes [especially with fountains] are now frequently included in the stage productions of many operas. It's just that there's too much of it in this production (the entire stage is immersed in "blood" in the second act).

    Will blog more when I see the show -- in 2 weeks from now :)

  5. I am getting very excited at the prospect of seeing this on Saturday. How on earth is the MET with their huge stage going to handle all that ocean of blood , particularly in a repertory house.

    BTW commiserations on the New Opéra season. Apart from the Ring which I've alreday booked the only thing of interest is Khovanschina.

    I am sure you will be head of the queue for La Giocanda!

  6. I'll survive 1 week delay from you. You are unbeatable Wagnerite :) Important is that I will see it too.

    The prospects of Khovanshchina are 50% less exciting when you learn that it will be staged by Andrei Serban.

    The Rake's progress can be good, Les sortileges/Zwerg too, Hänsel und Gretel, and that's about it!

    After the horrid production of Andréa Chenier, appalling Francesca di Rimini, and "the delicate" operatic expression of Cav/Pag, the only thing that was missing in the grand slam of vulgarity was La Gioconda. Oh well...

    I travel and I'm OK, but the damage is that the general opera crowd is getting progressively used to this rampant conservatism and is becoming like the crowd at the Met (Zeffirelli foreva!)

  7. It looks fabulous, but... what does it have to do with Parsifal?

  8. "What does it have to do with Parsifal?" ???

    It is the scenic interpretation of this great libretto proposed by François Girard. At least with Parsifal you should have a little bit of imagination.

  9. On behalf of all board Met-goers: THANK GOODNESS!

    This looks freakin' amazing, and yes, the Met needs AS MANY new productions with imagination and thoughtful interpretation as possible! I would take this (without even having seen it)over a hyper-literal production like the Met's Ring any day!

    Throw in Gatti, Kaufmann, Mattei, Pape and Dalayman and I've practically fallen over in delight and anticipation!

  10. As another Met-goer, looks fabulous to me and cannot wait but the stodgy NY'ers will go crazy -- TOO modern for them. Too bad.

    1. The Met audience rep as conservative is overdone. I saw the new Met Rigoletto last week. Set in 1960s Vegas (and the 3rd act has a topless pole dancer).

      Despite some mixed critic reviews, the night I saw it the audience loved it.

  11. A small trip from Barcelona to attend at Parsifal on friday 23 in Lyon and Les Huguenots on saturday 24 in Strasbourg.