Music Theatre

Jonathan Meese / Bernhard Lang / Simone Young


Opera by Bernhard Lang based on Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal”



© Jan Bauer, Courtesy of Jonathan Meese

  • 4 h 15 min, 2 intervals
  • German, English, French and Ancient Greek with German surtitles

Past Dates

Introduction by the dramaturg Henning Nass 1 hour before the start of the performance
The installation is open for visitors 90 minutes before the start of the performance, during the breaks and after the performance.

Not even Nietzsche regarded Wagner as the prophet of the future he may have wished to appear but instead as an interpreter and glorifier of the past. In keeping with this, the Wagner-overwrite “MONDPARSIFAL BETA 9–23 (VON EINEM, DER AUSZOG DEN „WAGNERIANERN DES GRAUENS“ DAS „GEILSTGRUSELN“ ZU ERZLEHREN…)” on the Festspielhaus stage, whose alpha version was premiered at the Wiener Festwochen in June, is not an act of imitation but a creative encounter between several artists. After his “Parsifal” production on the green hill at Bayreuth was denied him, the visual artist Jonathan Meese has joined forces with the composer Bernhard Lang to develop a new work that transposes Wagner’s myth to a revolutionary time in the distant future. Parsifal, Kundry, Klingsor and other leading figures from Wagner’s world of mythical characters find themselves on a lunar base that is also inhabited by Wagner himself, Fancy, Marlon Brando, Zardoz, the Wicker Man and Barbarella. An electronic eagle transporter hovers while the knights of the Holy Grail wait tirelessly for it to be revealed. But in the meantime something has changed fundamentally...

Bernhard Lang’s composition adheres closely to the libretto and structure of Wagner’s opera while simultaneously creating a new spectrum of sound and meaning that transcends the original work of festive consecration. Lang dissects some of the motifs from Wagner’s opera into the smallest details before reassembling them into a new whole, seeming to loop them into infinity or extending new worlds of sound. Jonathan Meese, whose personal mythological art universe is closely related to Wagner, has not only designed the stage and costumes, but also makes his debut as director of a grand opera that he will produce here on the Festspielhaus stage with Klangforum Wien and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir conducted by Simone Young. He provides a continuous commentary on the events via his own surtitle feed and will create the transformation scenes in Acts 1 and 3 showing Parsifal’s journey into the temple of the Holy Grail live during the performance.

The performances are framed by the exclusive installation “ERZGRÜNER TOTALSTHÜGEL DE LARGE (EVOLUTIONSPARSIFAL’S MONDRAUM)” for which Jonathan Meese has recast the foyers and other spaces inside the Festspielhaus as a future vision of his own green hill. Because: “Only art makes freedom the future!”


Libretto by Bernhard Lang based on Richard Wagner
Music Director Simone Young
Director, Set and Costume Design Jonathan Meese
Art Director Set Design Jörg Kiefel
Art Director Costume Design Jorge Jara
Lighting Design Lothar Baumgarte
Dramaturgy Henning Nass
Choreography Rosita Steinhauser
Sound Direction, Sound Design Peter Böhm, Florian Bogner
Make-up Manou Jacob
Make-up Assistance Nadine Leiendecker, Antonia Maar, Romy Stockenhofen, Lisa Streblau and apprentices of the Hasso von Hugo Make-up Artist School Berlin

Amphortas / Amfortas Tómas Tómasson
Gurnemantz / Gurnemanz Wolfgang Bankl
Parzefool / Parsifal Daniel Gloger
Clingsore / Klingsor Martin Winkler
Cundry / Kundry Magdalena Anna Hofmann
1st Knight of the Grail Alexander Kaimbacher
2nd Knight of the Grail Andreas Jankowitsch
2 Squires Sven Hjörleifsson, Johanna von der Deken
4 Flower Girls Manuela Leonhartsberger, Xiaoyi Xu, Melody Wilson, Marie-Pierre Roy

Klangforum Wien
Flutes Vera Fischer
Oboe Markus Deuter
English horn Barbara Gatschelhofer
Clarinets Bernhard Zachhuber, Richard Haynes, Olivier Vivarés
Bassoon Lorelei Dowling
Saxophone Gerald Preinfalk
Horn Christoph Walder, Manuell Egger
Trumpet Nenad Markovič
Trombone Mikael Rudolfsson
Tuba Joszef Bazsinka jr.
Percussion Björn Wilker, Lukas Schiske
Synthesizer Joonas Ahonen, Florian Müller, Hsin-Huei Huang
Accordion Krassimir Sterev
Violin Annette Bik, Gunde Jäch-Micko, Sophie Schafleitner, Sophie Thorsbro Dan, Annelie Gahl, Sophie Goidinger
Viola Dimitrios Polisoidis, Paolo Fumagalli, Rafal Zalech
Violoncello Benedikt Leitner, Andreas Lindenbaum
Double Bass Uli Fussenegger
Acoustic Bass Per Mathisen

Arnold Schoenberg Choir

Commissioned and produced by Wiener Festwochen
Coproduction Berliner Festspiele / Immersion