Jonas Kaufmann as Parsifal and Elina Garanca as Kundry. Vienna State Opera 2021.

Parsifal the Opera

Parsifal (WWV 111) is an opera in three acts by German composer Richard Wagner, who wrote both the music and the words. The opera is loosely based on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, an early 13th-century epic poem about the Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest for the Holy Grail, together with other medieval sources. Wagner conceived the work in the spring of 1857 but did not finish it until 25 years later. It was his last completed opera and composed for the particular acoustics of his Festspielhaus (opera house) in Bayreuth. Parsifal was produced, by the composer himself, for its first performance at the second Bayreuth Festival in 1882.

This web site presents and assesses a wide range of views about, and reactions to, Wagner's Parsifal, together with some primary material, some source material, comparisons of the opera with that source material, and even some background to the source material. It is an attempt to help those who are intimidated by Parsifal and a guide through the controversy and confusion surrounding it. The web site was conceived as a single hypertext document, in which internal links will take the reader to related material, or to a glossary, to biographical notes or to the bibliography. After following a link, you can use the back-button of your web browser to return to the page you were reading earlier. You will also find some navigation links at the top and bottom of each page.
Further reading: An introduction to Parsifal.

Parsifal at Vienna State Opera in 2018

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