Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann sings the title role in a new production of Wagner’s final masterpiece Parsifal, staged by acclaimed French Canadian director François Girard in his Met debut, on Great Performances at the Met Sunday, July 28 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera in two parts: Friday, August 16 at 9 p.m. and Friday, August 23 at 9 p.m.)
The extraordinary cast of Wagnerians assembled for the deeply meditative opera about sin, redemption, pain, and healing includes German bass René Pape as the wise knight Gurnemanz; Swedish soprano Katarina Dalayman as the wayward temptress Kundry; Swedish baritone Peter Mattei as the wounded king Amfortas; and Russian bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin as the evil wizard Klingsor.
Italian maestro Daniele Gatti conducts Wagner’s powerful and complex score.
“The Met has assembled about the best Parsifal cast available today… Kaufmann is in his glory… Handsome and limber, he is a natural onstage,” declared The New York Times, while the Associated Press found this production to be “(a) Parsifal to treasure, elevated to the highest musical level by the solemnity and sweep of Daniele Gatti’s conducting and the dedication of a dream cast of singing actors.”
American bass-baritone Eric Owens hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.
Parsifal was originally seen live in movie theaters on March 2 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Barbara Willis Sweete directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.