Bühnenweihfestspiel by Richard Wagner

From CHF 17.-
Wed 25 Jan18:00
Fri 27 Jan18:00
Sun 29 Jan15:00
Tue 31 Jan18:00
Thu 2 Feb18:00
Sun 5 Feb15:00
Ici, le temps devient espace.

Gurnemanz, Parsifal, Act I

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast

Bühnenweihfestspiel by Richard Wagner
Libretto by the composer
First performed in 1882 at the Bayreuth Festival
Last performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève 2009-2010

25, 27, 31 January and 2 February 2023 – 6pm
29 January and 5 February 2023 – 3pm

Musical Director Jonathan Nott
Stage Director Michael Thalheimer
Scenography Henrik Ahr
Costumes Michaela Barth
Lighting Designer Stefan Bolliger
Dramaturgy Bettina Auer
Choir director Alan Woodbridge

Parsifal Daniel Johansson
Amfortas Christopher Maltman
Gurnemanz Tareq Nazmi
Kundry Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Klingsor Martin Gantner
Titurel Justin Hopkins
Flowermaidens Julieth Lozano, Tineke van Ingelgem, Louise Foor, Valeriia Savinskaia, Ena Pongrac, Ramya Roy

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

Coproduction with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg

Sponsored by


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 brotherhood 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 knighthood, 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. 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 finally a unique mix of transparency and vitality as they unfold the masterpiece’s state of matter. Alongside Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, back as Kundry after her impressive Clytemnestra, the young German bass Tareq Nazmi as Gurnemanz and Daniel Johansson as Parsifal, a memorable Pierre Bezukhov in our War and Peace last season, along with some of the best Wagnerian voices of the moment, are all on deck for this spiritual voyage.




Parsifal at La Plage

Brunch 15.1.2023
Apéropéra 19.1.2023
Public Workshop 21.1.2023
Conference 24.1.2023
En coulisse 5.2.2023
Intropéra 45 minutes before each performance


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Légende photo
Réfugiés épuisés attendant sous la chaleur. Lesbos, Grèce, 2015
© Paolo Pellegrin