The confluence of self-isolation, Lententimes, and personal habit found me in front of the TV yesterday to watch the Blue-Ray recording of the Metropolitan Opera’s current production of Parsifal, dating from 2013. The conductor is Daniele Gatti, the stage director is François Girard, and the cast includes Jonas Kaufman, Peter Mattei, René Pape, Katrina Dalayman and Evgeny Nikitin.
The perfection of the casting, the mythic and provocative stage interpretation, the clarity of the recording and the sumptuous musical leadership of Gatti all combined to create a thrilling afternoon. Gatti takes long, long arcs, and his rallentandos and diminuendos are sheer perfection, capably executed by the brilliant orchestra and the seemingly inspired (and highly skilled) singers.
The theme of healing is most welcome these days. So is the sense of community experience, community grieving, and community reunification. The set by Michael Levine and lighting by Peter Finn are breathtaking and spirit us to a land that is wounded and seeks spiritual leadership — and gets it.
It is far an away the most moving Parsifal in my collection and I remind folks of its entrancing and authoritative qualities. Do give it the attention in deserves and you will get back the healing and serenity that you deserve.