Saturday, February 16, 2013

A short post on Parsifal

Wow, that was great. Unbelievably so.

There are many, many things I could say in elaboration and clarification, but instead of -- as has been my practice -- trying to put them all into one long post, I'll write just one now:

The fragmentary way in which Jonas Kaufmann's singing presents also appears to be characteristic of his stage person in general. Valkyrie didn't tap into that element, so his success therein was limited. Faust even more so. But Parsifal, this Parsifal, is so thoroughly built around the fragmentary, incomplete, striving-towards-(without realizing)-coherence quality in Kaufmann that it shows him -- and perhaps the opera -- in a blazing new light. The purity in his fool isn't that straightforward or even eerie positive quality of goodness one might have seen in others: it's an absence, usually straightforwardly an absence of the impure & the ground therefor, but occasionally and memorably an absence that speaks with sacred command. In accord is not only the amazing personal direction, but the visual language for the redemption this Parsifal brings.

In other words, nothing like Schenk's glorious field of flowers appears, for better and for worse -- but for Kaufmann, it's better, much better.

And he's not even the greatest star of the show! But that's for next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Absolutely no axe-grinding, please.