Parsifal on tour

Richard Wagner | Concert Staging

12 June – 26 June 2022

Dates & Venues

A prophecy to save them all 

Following on from the success of the Ring cycle, for his final operatic breath Wagner turned to the legend of the Holy Grail to create a masterpiece: Parsifal.

Amfortas, ruler of the Kingdom of the Grail, suffers an incurable wound after losing the Holy Spear to evil sorcerer Klingsor. When a prophecy reveals that only a naïve young man who has learnt compassion will be able to heal Amfortas, Parsifal must embark on a quest to save the community of the Grail.

A rare opportunity to experience the immense universe of Wagner’s crowning work in all its glory, this dramatic concert staging brings to the fore a resplendent 90-piece orchestra and a stellar international cast under the skilful baton of Richard Farnes. From the miraculous 15-minute orchestral Prelude, to the celebrated Good Friday Music, Wagner’s final opera will transport you to another world.

“Farnes’ shaping of the score is masterly. This is authentic Wagner ”
— The Telegraph (Ring cycle)

#ONParsifal

Supported by the Parsifal Circle.

Please note, Parsifal on tour, at venues including Bridgewater Hall, Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, Sage Gateshead and Southbank Centre, is a concert staging version of the production running at Leeds Grand Theatre from 1 – 10 June 2022. The Leeds Grand Theatre production includes additional theatrical costume and lighting.

Price
From £15*
Venues
  • Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
  • Sage Gateshead
  • Southbank Centre

Dates for Parsifal at Leeds Grand Theatre (staged production)

Running time
Approximately 5 hours 11 minutes (including two intervals)

Language
Sung in German with English titles

Accessibility
All performances audio described

Save with…
Season Ticket Packages
Under 30s membership
New to opera discounts

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

Timings

Act I 4.00pm 1 hour 41 minutes
Interval 5.41pm 40 minutes
Act II 6.21pm 1 hour 10 minutes
Interval 7.31pm 25 minutes
Act III 7.56pm 1 hour 15 minutes
End 9.11pm

If you are attending a performance of Parsifal on tour, you may like to consider our touring venues’ food offers.

Access

Audio description will be available for every performance. This will describe visual movement on the stage and summarise the surtitles. We would like to encourage anyone who finds it hard to read the surtitles to try it.

Contact the box office at your chosen venue to book a headset/receiver. You can also bring your own headphones to plug into the receiver packs if you prefer, they require a 3.5mm jack.

There will be no touch tour.

Story

By the Castle of the Holy Grail

Knights who guard the Holy Grail (the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper) prepare a bath for their King, Amfortas. Amfortas is sick – he suffers from an incurable wound. Kundry, a mysterious woman, appears with medicine to alleviate his pain. 

Old knight Gurnemanz tells of how this all came about: long ago, both the Grail and the Holy Spear (that pierced Jesus’ side on the cross) were entrusted to Titurel, Amfortas’ father, who assembled knights to guard these relics. Klingsor wished to join this brotherhood, but was rejected. In revenge, he built a fortress with a magic garden full of beautiful women to ensnare the knights. Amfortas tried to defeat Klingsor, but was himself seduced, whereupon Klingsor stole the Spear and stabbed Amfortas with it. The wound can only be healed by a ‘pure fool made wise by compassion’.

Speaking of whom… suddenly, a swan is shot down, and knights drag in a remorseful youth, whom Kundry identifies as ‘Parsifal’. Gurnemanz leads the boy back to the Grail Castle, wondering if he might be the one. 

Back in the Castle, Titurel urges his son to uncover the Grail, a ritual which produces nourishment for the knights. Amfortas is reluctant, as this causes his wound to reopen, but submits. At the end of the ceremony, Parsifal is baffled by what he has witnessed, and Gurnemanz drives him away in disappointment. 

Klingsor’s bewitched fortress

Klingsor summons Kundry and orders her to seduce the young fool, whom he recognises can heal Amfortas and save the Knights of the Grail. (Kundry is forced to lead a double life – she serves both the knights of the Grail and also Klingsor, because she is under his spell.)

Parsifal enters Klingsor’s enchanted garden, and flower maidens beg for his love. Kundry appears and tries to seduce Parsifal using memories of his mother, but as she kisses him, he suddenly feels Amfortas’ pain himself and realises what his purpose is: to save the Knights of the Grail. 

Resisted and rejected, Kundry curses Parsifal to wander hopelessly for years. In desperation, Klingsor hurls the Holy Spear at Parsifal, but it miraculously stops in mid-air. Parsifal catches it and makes the sign of the cross, causing Klingsor’s whole domain to crumble… 

Back by the Castle of the Holy Grail

It is many years later. Titurel has died, and the whole community of knights is on their last legs as Amfortas now refuses to uncover the Holy Grail – the ritual that sustains them all – because of the pain it causes him.

Just in time, a knight approaches – it is Parsifal, who has eventually made his way back. A remorseful Kundry washes Parsifal’s feet, and Gurnemanz proclaims him king. Parsifal baptizes Kundry. The tolling of bells signals Titurel’s funeral and the three make their way to the Castle.

In the Hall of the Grail, Amfortas begs the knights to kill him to end his suffering when Parsifal appears and touches his side, which finally heals the wound. Parsifal then uncovers the Grail, and becomes the new King. Kundry, also now redeemed and released from her curse, dies.

Go deeper

Meet our Parsifal

Meet our Parsifal

Toby Spence makes his role debut in our new production of Parsifal. Read his thoughts on Wagner’s remarkable final work and what it’s like playing the opera’s unlikely hero.

Parsifal: Five Musical Moments

Parsifal: Five Musical Moments

As such an epic opera, it can be hard to know where to start with the sublime music of Wagner’s Parsifal, so we’ve picked out five moments to listen out for…

What is a concert staging?

What is a concert staging?

Our production of Parsifal is billed as a ‘concert staging’. Discover what it’s like to experience opera in this new, dramatically intense way…

Cast & creative

Black and white headshot of Richard Farnes
Richard Farnes

CONDUCTOR

Sam Brown

DIRECTOR

Black and white headshot of Toby Spence
Toby Spence

PARSIFAL

Black and white headshot of Katarina Karneus
Katarina Karnéus

KUNDRY

Robert Hayward

AMFORTAS

Derek Welton

Klingsor

Black and white headshot of Brindley Sherratt
Brindley Sherratt

Gurnemanz

Stephen Richardson

Titurel

Ivan Sharpe
Ivan Sharpe

Grail Knight

Richard Mosley Evans
Richard Mosley-Evans

Grail Knight

Samantha Clarke
Samantha Clarke

Flowermaiden

Kathryn Stevens

Flowermaiden

Victoria Sharp

Flowermaiden

Elin Pritchard

Flowermaiden

Miranda Bevin

Flowermaiden

Helen Évora

Flowermaiden

Claire Pascoe

Esquire

Molly Barker

Esquire

Stuart Laing

Esquire

Campbell Russell

Esquire

Hazel Croft
Hazel Croft

Voice

Parsifal on tour
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