"Ignore the boos -- this Parsifal is the opera experience of a lifetime" - The Telegraph

The dazzling highlight of the Bayerische Staatsoper's current offering is an all-star new production of Wagner’s Parsifal, designed by the legendary German artist Georg Baselitz and conducted by Kirill Petrenko, Simon Rattle’s successor at the Berlin Phiharmonic.

Von Rupert Christiansen
Baselitz’s production – intelligently and clearly staged by Pierre Audi, but very much shaped by the sets and costumes – will divide opinion. It offers a bleak and deathly vision of a withered and scorched world, in which Titurel’s holy order seems not so much a cult of idealistic votaries as a band of outlawed survivors. The naked fat suits worn by the Knights and Flower Maidens are both ridiculous and repulsive, suggestive of the hopeless vulnerability of our humanity, while the final apocalyptic starburst of white light seems more like a destruction than a redemption: neither image resonates with the Mitleid that courses through the music. Munich’s audience booed Baselitz at the curtain calls, but the power of his negative imagination is undeniable.

What an overwhelming evening. Five stars? I could double that, for this was one of the great operatic experiences of my lifetime.

Von Rupert Christiansen