Wednesday night was an opportunity to catch the ENO's Parsifal. This 1999 co-production with San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera, Chicago and is purportedly the last time it will be staged. There are seven more performances to go.
Directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff, What makes the opera a standout is the brilliant staging and imaginative English translation. This translation transforms this production and keeps things moving at such a pace you won't realise you have been there for over four hours. On top of this there is such spectacle at times it is almost hypnotic.
A stunning cast includes John Tomlinson as Gurnemanz, Australian tenor Stuart Skelton as Parsifal and Jane Dutton as Kundry. Mark Wigglesworth conducts.
Wagner is still an acquired taste, but this probably goes some way to make this work accesible (and palatable). Leave work early and go. There are greater powers at stake.
Initial 'boo raves and reactions as follows: