Parsifal

Parsifal (WWV 111) is an opera in three acts by German composer Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, a 13th-century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest for the Holy Grail (12th century).

Parsifal
Opera by Richard Wagner
Amalie Materna, Emil Scaria and Hermann Winkelmann in the first production of the Bühnenweihfestspiel at the Bayreuth Festival
LibrettistWagner
LanguageGerman
Based onParzival
by Wolfram von Eschenbach
Premiere
26 July 1882 (1882-07-26)

Wagner conceived the work in April 1857, but did not finish it until 25 years later. It was his last completed opera, and in composing it he took advantage of the particular acoustics of his Bayreuth Festspielhaus. Parsifal was first produced at the second Bayreuth Festival in 1882. The Bayreuth Festival maintained a monopoly on Parsifal productions until 1903, when the opera was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Wagner described Parsifal not as an opera, but as Ein Bühnenweihfestspiel ("A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage").[1] At Bayreuth a tradition has arisen that audiences do not applaud at the end of the first act.

Wagner's spelling of Parsifal instead of the Parzival he had used up to 1877 is informed by one of the theories about the name Percival, according to which it is of Persian origin, Parsi (or Parseh) Fal meaning "pure (or poor) fool".[2][3][4][5]