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Wagner’s masterpiece at Orcas Center

March 1, 2013 · Updated 9:31 AM

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann sings the title role in Wagner’s final masterpiece 'Parsifal.' / Contributed photo

Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann sings the title role in Wagner’s final masterpiece “Parsifal,”  the deeply meditative opera about sin, redemption, pain, and healing streaming live from the Met in HD  at Orcas Center on Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m.

Acclaimed French Canadian director François Girard in his Met debut has transformed the opera  from a faux-Christian rite into a timeless story about a beleaguered community that is held together – barely – by a sacred ritual that is under threat. In Wagner’s libretto, the Holy Grail is protected by an order of knights. Their leader, Amfortas, suffers horribly from a wound that will not heal, and can be cured only by a holy fool, Parsifal, who is “enlightened by compassion.”

Arresting, consistently absorbing stage pictures expertly follow the mournful flow of this epic, while a powerhouse cast of singers and the Met orchestra ensure that the evening has both gravity and momentum, according to the Orcas Center.

The extraordinary cast of Wagnerians assembled 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. American bass-baritone Eric Owens hosts the transmission and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $13  students, $2 off for Orcas Center members, and may be purchased at www.orcascenter.org or by calling 376-2281 ext. 1.

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