PARSIFAL Enters the Grail Temple

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McCaw Hall opened in August 2003 with Wagner's Bühnenweihfestspiel (stage-consecrating festival drama) Parsifal. In an exciting feat of stagecraft midway through the first act, a huge drawbridge mechanism swung the forest floor up to become the wall of the grail temple, as old Gurnemanz led a young fool into the temple of the holy grail (in the hopes that this nameless lad might be the innocent one prophecied to gain wisdom through compassion and heal the diseased kingdom). One of Wagner’s most overwhelming orchestral passages communicates the inarticulate Parsifal’s experience as he enters the heart of the world of the grail. At Seattle Opera in 2003, Stephen Milling sang Gurnemanz and Asher Fisch conducted the orchestra of Seattle Opera.