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You thought the Met’s Parsifal was good? Just wait for Covent Garden’s

It won’t have Jonas Kaufmann. Too bad (though’s he’s in another of the ROH’s 7 new prods announced this am, see below).

But in every other aspect the new ROH Parsifal looks like a winner, even to Parsifal-sceptic Slipped Disc.

Check it out:

The New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill is the most highly rated Kiwi singer since Kiri. He sang the role in Vienna last year.


René Pape as Gurnemanz. Who else?

Gerald Finley - yes, that Gerald Finley – in his role debut as Amfortas.

Willard White makes his comeback as Klingsor.

Angela Denoke sings Kundry for the first time at Covent Garden.

Sir Antonio Pappano conducts. Top man.

And Stephen Langridge is director with Alison Chitty as designer, so there will be no more of those silly office uniforms that disfigured the Met’s show. Will Simon O’Neill take his shirt off? Doubt it. Too much else going on.

More season’s highlights below.

- Verdi’s Les Vêpres siciliennes  is directed by Norwegian director Stefan Herheim who makes his debut at Covent Garden.

- Further new productions include Kasper Holten’s Don Giovanni, Manon Lescaut directed by Jonathan Kent and Maria Stuarda directed by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser….. with…… Joyce DiDonato!

Simon Rattle conducts Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, with his partner Magdalena Kožená as Blanche and Deborah Polaski as Madame de Croissy. Some of the crowd scenes will include participants from a community project involving Streetwise Opera.

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  1. O’Neill taking his shirt off might double for a sight screen at Lords.

  2. Simon O’Neill recently sang Parsifal in two extremely impressive concert performances in Dortmund and Essen with Thomas Hengelbrock and his period-instrument Balthasar Neumann Ensemble (and choir).
    Angela Denoke sang Kundry.
    Matthias Goerne sang Amfortas and Kwangchul Youn — who might even be a tad better than Rene Pape in the role — sang Gurnemanz.

    • Fidel Ruiz says:

      Any chance of a recordingpodcast from these performances?

      • Not sure, Fidel. There were also a couple of performances in Madrid.
        I would hazard a guess they were recorded and will appear on CD at some point.

  3. Laurence Glavin says:

    In the United States, there’s a cable TV channel called “The Weather Channel”. I live near Boston, MA, a city that almost WORSHIPS weather, so that there are usually two weather-related segments on local newscasts, but nonethless, “The Weather Channel” is a good resource especially in Winter (which ends in under 168 hours here in North America…yay) because they offer detailed coverage of potential storms from the time they enter the US on the West Coast. All the male meteorologists war Docker-type slacks and white, or light-colored shirts, no jackets, but they DO wear ties. Nowadays, after seeing the Met in HD “Parsifal”, I can’t help thinking about the garb the Knights of Monsalvat wore whenever I watch “The Weather Channel”.

  4. Greg Hlatky says:

    A nice synopsis of “Parsifal” (not by me, alas).

    Act One
    Knights guard Grail, the Spear’s gone missing:
    Stolen while the Prince was kissing,
    Then used to give him wound that’s cruel,
    Which none can heal but virgin fool.

    Female messenger is mocked.
    Swan gets shot; the knights are shocked.
    Knights assemble, worship Grail.
    Shooter joins them, hears Prince wail.

    Act Two
    Spear’s in wizard’s castle tower.
    And messengeress is in his power.
    He tells her to use charms upon
    The teenage fool who shot the swan.

    She tries her best, but kid gets smart;
    He’s immune to all her art.
    Grabs the wizard’s holy Spear –
    Wizard, castle disappear!

    Act Three
    Years pass. Fool gets back to knights.
    Grail’s power denied, they’re sorry sights.
    Racked by wound, Prince wants to die.
    Begged to show Grail, he won’t comply.

    Messengeress sees fool can save her.
    Bathes his feet; he shows her favor.
    Fool heals Prince’s wound with touch.
    Christian allegory, much?

  5. It looks a good season, although I shall avoid Don Giovanni as it’s directed by Kasper Holten in case it as CRASS at his Eugene Onegin.

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