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Parsifal at the ENO

I must have missed it when Nikolaus Lehnhoff's Parsifal was staged in 1999. Well I was very glad to have seen it on the first night this time round - for it was a very good production and performance. Mark Wigglesworth took the overture at the right pace - just enough solemnity and poignancy without making it overbearing. The first half of act one was always the tricky one - relatively long dialogues and Sir John Tomlinson's presence was essential in keeping the whole thing moving. The transformation music was great (though the brass could have been bigger) and the chorus was on form.

Jane Dutton's Kundry really shone through in act two - with clarity, urgency and sufficient degree of other-worldly quality. This was matched by Stuart Skelton's Parsifal - who gradually lost his innocence culminating in the showdown with Klinsor (Tom Fox). The stage set for the act three was a bit wierd with a half completed rail track into the barren "garden". Still, the trio of Tomlinson, Dutton and Skelton was absolutely superb. Yes it was a long opera but it was captivating and well worth the post-Parsifal numb bum.


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