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Wagner's overwhelming final opera available on BluRay and DVD


Pierre Audi's setting of Parsifal is undoubtedly the pinnacle of his series of Wagner operas with the Dutch National Opera. A cast of top soloists, accompanied by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra led by Iván Fischer, presents the story of Parsifal's quest for the holy grail. This production, which is a collaboration between Audi and the renowned artist Anish Kapoor, had its premiere in 2012, and after a successful reprise in 2016 the video registration of this enthralling opera is now available on BluRay and DVD.

In his last years, Richard Wagner became increasingly absorbed by spiritualism. In his last opera, the squire Parsifal, for example, reveals himself as a true saviour, and the opera in general is filled with recurring themes of compassion, redemption and rebirth; religious aspects which were not universally understood during Wagner's own day. The music, however, remains typically Wagnerian: grand and ambitious, with an abundance of different timbres and endless melodies.

This recording is Iván Fischer's debut at the Dutch National Opera, conducting the RCO majestically. The cast of singers is a remarkably great ensemble. 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.

If you would like to know more about this release, please watch this video in which Iván Fischer and Pierre Audi talk about Parsifal.

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