Bühnenweihfestspiel by Richard Wagner
From CHF 17.-
Tue 30 Mar 18:00
Fri 2 Apr 18:00
Mon 5 Apr 15:00
Wed 7 Apr 18:00
Fri 9 Apr 18:00
Sun 11 Apr 15:00
Ici, le temps devient espace.

Gurnemanz, Parsifal, Act I

Bühnenweihfestspiel by Richard Wagner

First performed in 1892 in Bayreuth
Composer’s libretto adapted from the story by Wolfram von Eschenbach
Last time at the Grand Théâtre de Genève 2009-2010
In coproduction with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg

Sung in German with French and English subtitles

Sponsored by:



Musical Director Jonathan Nott
Stage Director Michael Thalheimer
Scenographer Henrik Ahr
Costumes designer Michaela Barth
Lighting designer Stefan Bolliger
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Amfortas Josef Wagner
Titurel Justin Hopkins
Gurnemanz Mika Kares
Klingsor Tómas Tómasson
Parsifal Daniel Brenna
Kundry Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
1st Knight of the Grail Julien Henric
1st Esquire Emma Posman
2nd Esquire Anna Schaumlöffel
3rd Esquire Julien Henric
Flowermaidens Emma Posman ; Tineke van Ingelgem ; Laurène Paternò ; Uliana Alexyuk ; Anna Schaumlöffel ; Ahlima Mhamdi

Grand Théâtre de Genève Chorus
Maîtrise du Conservatoire populaire
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande


Something is rotten in the state of the Grail knights! Their king, Amfortas, has been wounded by their archenemy Klingsor and has lost the “Holy Spear” to the fiend. Amfortas is crushed by pain and guilt, with a wound that will not heal. The broth-erhood of the Grail knights is at a loss about what to think or do. According to a prophecy, the only thing that will help the king is the compassion of an “innocent fool”, the only one who can bring the Holy Spear back to the Castle of the Grail. In the midst of this ailing world, the young Parsifal appears. He is apprehended and interrogated by the Grail knights who think they might find in him the “innocent fool” they are searching for. Trials and temptations ensue for Parsifal who overcomes them all. A few years later, he manages even to wrest the Holy Spear from Klingsor’s clutches. Amfortas may now die. Parsifal, saviour of the knight-hood, takes Amfortas’ place as king.
To the male brotherhood of the knights, Wagner opposes one single woman: Kundry. He describes her as a “wild female”, scorned – or secretly desired by the knights. Kundry’s only way to escape the oppression of male society is to seduce it. Having already seduced Amfortas and Klingsor, she now tempts Parsifal, who rejects her advances. But this initial rejection will make Kundry and Parsifal reach a state of chaste proximity, beyond corrupting seduction.
German director Michael Thalheimer sees the precarious condition of the Grail knighthood as neither hopeful nor hopeless. Beyond the “festival play for the consecration of the stage” as Wagner called Parsifal, the work carries all the symbols
of decline. Thalheimer sees it as a farewell to the world. The world bids farewell to the Grail knighthood, the knights bid farewell to their lives and worldly works. Looking back on their past times and existences has marked the brotherhood, who must all live with the condition of being “wounded”.
Wagner designed Parsifal for the Bayreuth Festival Theatre and composed it for its recessed and hooded orchestra pit. This feature was responsible for the astounding mix of sound between singers and orchestra at the premiere in 1882. There will be no hooded pit in Geneva but with Jonathan Nott as musical director at the head of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, expect to hear a unique mix of transparency and vitality as they un-fold the masterpiece’s state of matter, as during Nott’s legendary performance of Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Lucerne Festival, which the musical world is not ready to forget. In addition to Tanja Ariane Baumgartner as Kundry and Mika Kares as Gurnemanz, the cast will feature some of the greatest Wagnerian voices of the moment.

Parsifal at La Plage

Apéropéra 11.3.2021
Public Workshops 27.3.2021
Conference 29.3.2021
En coulisse 2.4.2021
Intropéra 45 minutes before each performance


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