Home Theatre A memorable revival of Kartaloff’s Parsifal marks one other triumph for Sofia Opera’s Wagner Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide

A memorable revival of Kartaloff’s Parsifal marks one other triumph for Sofia Opera’s Wagner Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide

A memorable revival of Kartaloff’s Parsifal marks one other triumph for Sofia Opera’s Wagner Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide


BulgariaBulgaria Wagner, Parsifal: Soloists, Dancers, Refrain and Orchestra of Sofia Opera and Ballet / Constantin Trinks (conductor). Sofia Opera and Ballet Theatre, 25.7.2023. (GT)

Sofia Opera and Ballet Theatre’s Parsifal Act I

Parsifal is the sixth opera of Richard Wagner to be produced on the Sofia Opera by Plamen Kartaloff in his mission to develop a Wagnerian custom in Bulgaria. First staged in 2015, the preparation for the opera was assisted by Richard Trimborn, who himself collaborated with Karajan, Kleiber and Sawallisch in staging Wagner operas on the world’s most interesting phases.

Kartaloff explains his imaginative and prescient of Wagner’s remaining masterwork, ‘I place the motion of this sacred Wagner drama exterior the time and place of the specificity, Parsifal, a mystical motion that displays the infinite life circle together with delivery, life, dying, and reincarnation. The performing on this Sacred Competition Drama combines these symbols of all religions, nevertheless totally different they could be, with the facility of excellent and the necessity for religion in one thing necessary and predestined. To beat evil, to imagine within the salvation of the soul of man, to watch the holy covenant of males with God is a very powerful necessity and might be present a convincing energy for man, no matter faith one professes.

The state of nirvana for Wagner’s heroes is the assumption within the reincarnation of the soul from the earthly to the miraculous. As if illuminated by rays, the sunshine of distant stars reaches a few of them (Kundry) concurrently previously, current and the long run. The entry of the summary into the actual, the house in time, the connection of Kundry’s soul with Parsifal’s physique, the trail of her remodeling soul into a picture. This enters Parsifal’s picture they usually half, but additionally belong to one another, coming collectively in an existence of their very own. Apparently current within the drama right here is the phenomenon of déjà vu, “I’ve already seen in my ideas.”’

Kartaloff believes that ‘the principle character, Parsifal, is above every part and everybody, past the present anxieties and sufferings of the opposite characters. He’s naïve and against all and present issues, the actual and the perfect belongs to them. Thus the that means and the key of the feast of the sacrament can solely be revealed to those that are known as upon to serve it. Parsifal is a thriller of parallel worlds.’

Thomas Mann wrote, ‘Parsifal is a superb miracle, a piece unmatched as data and incarnation of the farthest, scary and sacred worlds … A piece stuffed with sounds that depart you anxious, curious and enchanted time and again.’ Claude Debussy wrote of the opera, ‘Nowhere in Wagner’s music is a extra serene magnificence attained than within the Prelude to the third act of Parsifal and your complete Good Friday episode.’

Following the gorgeously carried out Prelude, it was clear the orchestra has notably improved for the reason that Ring cycle beneath the baton of Constantin Trinks. The primary scene of Act I opened to point out a fascinating image of blues and greens as if we’re in a woody glade conveyed with mild projections towards the drapes by way of which the totally different characters emerged and left. The Gurnemanz of Angel Hristov entered attired in a easy white garb which is frequent all through nearly the entire forged. Hristov has a deeply resonant bass voice carrying all the load of his authority. Following his monologue, the wounded Amfortas entered on a wheeled chariot carried by the Knights of the Grail. All of a sudden, Kundry dramatically entered wearing a dressing up of rags and with wild hair. Gergana Rusekova shortly revealed that she has a wonderfully vibrant mezzo-soprano voice, mixed with excellent performing, and the lyric baritone of Atanas Mladenov’s Amfortas portrayed all of the horrible plight of his character in a deeply shifting characterisation. An enormously profitable system was the projection towards the backdrop of the ghostly figures of the knights as they had been in prayer or singing. The lighting of Andrej Hajdinjak and the laser animation by Michael Sollinger was extremely efficient in illuminating the stage motion all through the efficiency.

The entry of the knights and the squires was overwhelmingly highly effective as they slowly made their manner on stage towards the regular accompaniment of the excellent orchestral enjoying. Gurnemanz’s narration of the story of the Holy Spear and the Holy Grail led to the story of the hero Titurel, the daddy of Amfortas, and of Klingsor and his darkish arts, and the magic backyard the place maidens enchant the knights away from the holy order.

The Parsifal of Kostadin Andreev appeared within the background because the silly knight wandering round questioning what’s going on. All of a sudden the wounded swan throws himself to the bottom adopted by Parsifal in a hanging image of youthful innocence. The charms of Kundry now tells him of his backstory. Within the change to scene two, the transformation passage is marvellously carried out by the orchestra beneath Trinks and the fort scene is movingly dramatic because the knights carry within the grail which is an angular picket field containing the sacred object. Petar Buchkov’s Titurel is heard from off stage, ‘Mein Sohn Amfortas, bist du am Amt?’ Shamed by his horrible destiny, Amfortas sings ‘Wehvolles Erbe, dem ich verfallen’. In begging forgiveness, he uncovers the Grail and the knights, and squires elevate their vessels to the sky because the scene turns into reworked with brilliant rays descending in a robust scene of worship with beautiful heavenly voices from above, ‘Nehmet hin meinen Leib’. Once more this scene is immensely powerfully enacted by way of the lighting projection of spectres shifting throughout the stage, and finally the tortured Amfortas is led away and the choral singing of ‘Wein und Brot des letzten Mahles’ is serenely shifting previous to Parsifal being despatched off to study extra about what he had simply witnessed.

In Act II, Klingsor’s fort is a metallic construction embellished by strip lighting, and from the battlements, Veselin Mihaylov’s Klingsor summons Kundry, ‘Dein Meister ruft; herauf!’ Rusekova’s Kundry is dressed extra stylishly, and he or she is informed to seduce Parsifal so he might reclaim the Grail. In a well-enacted combat scene, Klingsor’s knights are in fight with Parsifal who defeats them with ease, and in a well-arranged transition, the fort is changed by a scarlet crimson cushion the place the flower maidens interact in vigorous exercise with males on this backyard of delights. Dismissing the younger males, Kundry beguiles the younger idiot Parsifal by singing of life’s joys and of different enticements. She is now in a superbly seductive crimson and black costume. The scene closes dramatically with Klingsor throwing the spear at Parsifal, who catches it in a miraculous second of thunder.

The resplendent strings of the orchestra introduce the primary scene of Act III, the place we see the aged and weary Gurnemanz ‘Von dorther kam das Stöhnen’ whereas Kundry is mendacity lifelessly in a protracted white smock. He pitilessly drags her up, but she sings willingly, ‘Dienen … Dienen!’ and all of a sudden Parsifal seems wearing armour with the spear. Admonished for bringing arms on Easter Sunday, Gurnemanz realises it’s certainly he, the idiot who has returned. Parsifal sings, ‘Heil mir, dass ich dich wiederfinde!’ Recognising the saviour has arrived within the particular person of Parsifal, Gurnemanz rejoices that he can carry out the therapeutic with the spear on Amfortas, ‘O Gnade! Höchstes Heil!’ As noon approaches, in an exquisite scene, The knights arrive and – in an intensely enacted passage – encircle Amfortas with the now opened grail. As Parsifal and Kundry enter with the spear raised Amfortas will get miraculously cured, ‘Sei heil, entsündigt und gesühnt!’ Parsifal takes his place on the centre, lifting the spear to the heavens as magical rays beam down on the worshippers and there may be the wonderful celebratory climax.

Sofia Opera and Ballet Theatre’s Parsifal Act III

This was a positive manufacturing true to the composer’s imaginative and prescient; conventional strategies had been mixed with progressive expertise permitting the viewers to understand the narrative and the singing along with the marvellous orchestral image. The scenic fantastic thing about the units, and the colourful colors of each costumes mixed with excellent singing and performing ensured this revival was one other success for Sofia Opera.

Of the singers, essentially the most excellent was Atanas Mladenov’s Amfortas along with his eloquent singing and supreme performing, the Gurnemanz of Angel Hristov was deeply convincing along with his portrayal and with a voice to match. The Kundry of Gergana Rusekova was world-class in each singing and characterisation – each phrase was clear and delightful at instances when revealing her plight and in different scenes of her lustful need. The title function of Parsifal was magnificently characterised by Kostadin Andreev, but once more enjoying the idiot who beneficial properties manhood and maturity on the finish of a difficult operatic masterpiece. And most of all, the refrain and orchestra had been excellent in presenting an excellent musical accompaniment to Wagner’s masterpiece.

Gregor Tassie

Director – Plamen Kartaloff
Musical and Stylistic preparation – Richard Trimborn
Set designer – Sven Jonke
Assistant Set designer – Ivana Jonke
Costumes – Stanka Vauda
Lighting designer – Andrej Hajdinjak
Laser animation – Michael Sollinger
Video design – Catherine Krasimirova
Assistant Director – Vera Beleva
Refrain director – Violeta Dimitrova
Stage combating – Kamen Ivanov

Parsifal – Kostadin Andreev
Amfortas – Atanas Mladenov
Gurnemanz – Angel Hristov
Kundry– Gergana Rusekova
Klingsor – Veselin Mihaylov
Titurel – Petar Buchkov
First Knight of the Grail – Hrisimir Damyanov
Second Knight of the Grail – Nikolay Voynov
First Squire – Rada Toteva
Second Squire – Ina Kalinova
Third Squire – Krasimir Dinev
Fourth Squire – Kalin Dushkov
Voice from Above – Vesela Yaneva
Flower maidens – Lyubov Metodieva, Ayla Dobreva, Ina Kalinova, Yuliana Katinova-Petrova, Angelina Mancheva, Alexandrina Stoyanova-Andreeva
The wounded swan – Nikola Arnaudov
Klingsor’s Darkish Knights – Georgi Banchev, Simeon Atanasov, Deyan Ivanov, Dario Yovchevski, Teodor Vodenicharov, Ivan Georgiev, Georgi Asparuhov, Matthew Whittle



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