Richard farnes

A completely satisfying operatic experience: Opera North’s Parsifal reviewed

When Parsifal finally returns to Montsalvat, it’s Good Friday. He’s trodden the path of suffering but now the sun is shining. Confused, he turns to the aged and broken Gurnemanz: why, on this day of utmost grief, does not the whole of nature mourn? Gurnemanz gestures at the woods and meadows, glowing, as Wagner tells us, in the morning light: ‘You see, it is not so.’ At this point in Opera North’s new concert staging, Parsifal (Toby Spence), Gurnemanz (Brindley Sherratt) and Kundry (Katarina Karneus) are sitting on the lip of the stage, as if having a quiet chat and – with a gentle relaxation of the shoulders, the smallest