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With the end of the Cold War, life looked rosy and no heroes were needed to deliver us from evil. But with crisis following crisis now, heroes are back in fashion, knights in shining armour as the embodiment of an ideal. Parzival’s mother is keen to protect her son from all this conflict, which she is sure can only end in despair and ruin, but Parzival can’t wait to sally forth as a hero. He sets off in search of the Holy Grail, the alleged fount of eternal fortune and happiness. However, in the process he also causes a lot of trouble.
The tale of Parzival has been rehashed many times from a variety of perspectives. The Staatstheater, too, explores the material this season from different angles. While the Opernhaus presents the Richard Wagner version, Kieran Joel uses Wolfram von Eschenbach’s novel in verse form as well as other texts to relate the tale of a hero faced with present-day problems.
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