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Watch: Gerald Finley on Parsifal

Leading baritone discusses his role as Amfortas in Stephen Langridge’s new Royal Opera production.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

17 October 2013 at 2.56pm | 6 Comments

Stephen Langridge’s new production of Wagner’s powerful psychodrama Parsifal opens on 30 November. The production features a star-studded cast, including Gerald FinleySimon O’Neill, René Pape and Angela Denoke.

Gerald will sing the role of Amfortas, a troubled king condemned to suffer for the sin of being seduced.

‘The role encompasses lots of wonderful, complicated, moral issues that Wagner wanted to explore’, says Gerald. ‘Amfortas's story is a metaphor for the challenges of society: if you have failed in an honourable position, how do you get redemption from those who are less than you?’

Parsifal had its premiere at Bayreuth in 1882. Wagner’s final great masterpiece, it is an epic and transcendental work that explores sensual temptation and spiritual redemption.

‘For me, Parsifal is about being thrilled by the music and the idea of people striving. I want people to feel moved and astonished that this beautiful music and slightly prosaic story touches them.’

Gerald made his main-stage debut in Covent Garden as a Flemish Deputy in Don Carlo in 1989. This Season, in addition to Amfortas, he will sing the role of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro and will make his 100th performance with The Royal Opera.

Parsifal runs from 30 November to 18 December 2013. Tickets are still available. It will be screened live in cinemas on 18 December. Find out full details of a screening near you

Parsifal is staged with generous philanthropic support from The Metherell Family, Roland & Sophie Rudd, Dr and Mrs Michael West, Marina Hobson MBE, Ian and Helen Andrews, Peter and Fiona Espenhahn, Annie Frankel, Malcolm Herring, Dr L Mikheev and N Mikheev, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson, The Wagner Circle and The Parsifal Production Syndicate and generously supported in memory of Simon Tullah.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

17 October 2013 at 2.56pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Amfortas, by Stephen Langridge, Gerald Finley, interview, Parsifal, Production, Richard Wagner, The Royal Opera

This article has 6 comments

  1. Chris responded on 17 October 2013 at 4:21pm Reply

    which one of the performances of Le Nozze will be his 100th at Covent Garden?

    • Rachel Beaumont (Product Manager) responded on 21 October 2013 at 10:35am

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your query. Gerald Finley's 100th performance with ROH will actually take place during the Parsifal run, on 5 December 2013.
      Content Producer (Web Copy)

  2. Pierre Lubenesco responded on 1 November 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

    Out of interest, where is the "white cube" imagery that appears in the trailer taken from? Surely not from the up-coming new production itself, since presumably the set designs won't be revealed until the premiere.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 1 November 2013 at 3:45pm

      Hi Pierre,

      Thanks for the comment. Our trailers and the imagery are created by us in conjunction with production directors to give a hint of what the production will look like, or the ideas behind their work.


      ROH Content Producer

    • Pierre Lubenesco responded on 1 November 2013 at 3:54pm

      But I don't quite understand -- that trailer looks professional and sophisticated, and has been on the website for some months now, presumably long before work on the set was completed; and whilst I would not suggest the ROH PR teams aren't professional and sophisticated, it seems hard to believe you would spend large amounts of money for an elaborate (and indeed quite atmospheric) 20 second clip "re-creating" something that, at the time of filming, hasn't been "created" yet in the first place!

      The reason why I ask is not sinister at all: I have the distinct feeling I've seen this set before, although I can't point out in which opera house and for what production. Or, if this is part of the actual set of the new Parsifal, this would be impossible. I had assumed it was a clip taken from another Parsifal, or perhaps another Langridge production, or perhaps simply from an image databank.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 1 November 2013 at 4:36pm

      Hi Pierre,

      The interview clip featuring Gerald features images of set models and designs, with our concept trailer created afterwards ( - this promotional trailer (uploaded a couple of days ago) doesn't use the actual set, rather it represents it.

      The image used to promote the production was created in conjunction with our design agency and doesn't show the actual set itself.

      I hope that gives you the answer that you were looking for.


      ROH Content Producer

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