What happened to Michael Colhaze?

In the comments section of my recent piece about Parsifal I said: ‘This is the Verwandlungsmusik and the first version of Parsifal that I saw when I was still in my thirties. Nonetheless, without a couple of good speakers, almost all of the magnificence of Wagner’s music is lost in this YouTube video. And even with a couple of speakers the numinosity is lost if you are not in an elegant opera house’.

I omitted to add something fundamental. Currently, the scenery they use in most of the theatres is pure mud and one has to look hard to find a representation that respects the traditional scenery: a lotus, among all the mud.

Michael Colhaze had already complained about this profanation of Wagner in a 2012 article I copied and pasted from The Occidental Observer. Unfortunately, all the articles by this German, Colhaze, have been deleted in The Occidental Observer. Why?

Parsifal, which premiered at Bayreuth on July 26, 1882, is Wagner’s most numinous work. It was performed sixteen times that first year and was the most carefully prepared premiere of an opera in history. European royalty made the pilgrimage to hear Wagner’s new work.

The original sketches for the sets and costumes were designed by German-Russian painter Paul von Joukowsky, who based his design for Act One on the Cathedral of Siena, and for Klingsor’s Magic Garden, in Act Two, on the gardens of the Palazzo Rufolo in Ravello.

After Wagner’s death, this production acquired mythic proportions but in our times the sets have become increasingly dilapidated in most representations, where we see the rubbish scenery that Colhaze complained about another of Wagner’s musical dramas.

One Comment

  1. This…

    is Wagner’s Parsifal more or less as it was meant to be seen: a real garden, perfect temple environment for the knights, dressed as they should be, but the subtitles are not in English.

    Meier is the most beautiful Kundry in the history of Parsifal, but the great singer who played Klingsor died this year.

    Siegfried Jerusalem (what a ‘schizophrenic’ name!) is the same who also played the role of Parsifal in the linked video within the main text, but I liked better his performance here.


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