Parsifal  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Grotesque mask for  La Porte de Parsifal. (c. 1891) by French sculptor Jean-Joseph Carriès
Enlarge
Grotesque mask for La Porte de Parsifal. (c. 1891) by French sculptor Jean-Joseph Carriès

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Parsifal is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the medieval (13th century) epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest for the Holy Grail.

During the first Act, Parsifal, an apparently witless fool, sees the suffering of the wounded Amfortas, King of an order of knights who guard the Grail. In the second Act Parsifal wanders into the domain of Klingsor, a magician who is trying to corrupt the Knights of the Grail and who has stolen from them the spear used to pierce Jesus Christ during his crucifixion. There Parsifal meets Kundry, the slave of Klingsor, who attempts to seduce him. In resisting her, he destroys Klingsor, and recovers the Spear. In the third Act, Parsifal returns to the Grail Kingdom to heal Amfortas.

Wagner first conceived the work in April 1857 but it was not finished until twenty-five years later. It was to be Wagner's last completed opera and in composing it he took advantage of the particular sonority of his Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Parsifal was first produced at the second Bayreuth Festival in 1882. The Bayreuth Festival maintained an exclusive monopoly on Parsifal productions until 1903, when the opera was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Wagner preferred to describe Parsifal not as an opera, but as "ein Bühnenweihfestspiel" - "A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage". At Bayreuth a tradition has arisen that there is no applause after the first act of the opera.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Parsifal" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools