Parsifal meets Kundry, a veiled Moslem

Parsifal meets Kundry, a veiled Moslem


norman lebrecht

November 24, 2015

nadja michael kundry

This is a rehearsal shot from Parsifal at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, where Nadja Michael is dressed as a veiled, implicitly oppressed Moslem woman on her first Act 1 entrance.

True to Wagner? True to Islam? Or just a misplaced fashion statement?

The director is Marcelo Lombardero.


  • Emil says:

    We don’t know…until we see the performance. It could be terrible, just as it could be fantastic. I do hope, however, that Nadja Michael will not be expected to sing with a veil covering her mouth.

  • Prewartreasure says:

    “……..True to Wagner? True to Islam? Or just a misplaced fashion statement……?

    It matters not in my book; Nadja is one of the most thrilling sopranos I have ever heard.

    Dear old Gwyneth Jones could act as well as sing (in her day) but NM is streets ahead.

    Ever seen/heard a better Salome?

    No, I thought not.

  • M. says:

    Well, after all, Parsifal has a Muslim half-brother. (I wonder why Wagner left that out.)


  • Jevgeniy says:

    Seems like an inspired choice. Kundry is, after all, is the unworthy and groveling female “property” of a bunch of fanatics from a religious sect, right?

    • erich says:

      Completely faithful to the Act 1 libretto. Gurnemanz tells Amfortas that the potion Kundry has given him “Dir ward es aus Arabia hergeführt”.

      • mario lutz says:

        Indeed, and before this, Kundry in her own singing told Gurnemanz that if this balsam fails, nothing else from Arabia can bee found

        Von weiter her als du denken kannst.
        Hilft der Balsam nicht,
        Arabia birgt
        dann nichts mehr zu seinem Heil.
        Fragt nicht weiter.

  • Brian says:

    Forgive me for being, well, anal, but it’s Teatro Colón, with an accent. Changes the pronunciation (and sometimes the meaning, too).

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    As the director is Marcelo Lombardero it’s bound to make perfect sense, be insightful, thought-provoking and very probably beautiful to look at. He’s a superb director. Let’s also not forget when and where Parsifal is set…

  • urania says:

    I know why I did take a leave from opera and concert life…might be long term!