A co-production between The Met, Opera Lyon and Canadian Opera Company, this Parsifal, directed by Francois Girard opened in Lyon in 2012 where the originally scheduled premiere was postponed due to technical concerns regarding the management of the large amounts of "blood", which floods the entire stage in Act 2.
At the Metropolitan Opera the production of Parsifal (which has replaced Otto Schenk´s 1991 staging), starring Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei) opened on February 15th 2013, transmitted in HD on March 2nd.
Discussion of the production in the New York Times. It seems to be something of an event. In any case, I don´t remember ever having seen so rave reviews of any production at the Metropolitan Opera.
A note regarding the live HD transmission on March 2nd:
I attended the live HD transmission, but I´ll refrain from a description of the staging as this has already been done in details by others.
Suffice to say that I have seen about 25 productions of Parsifal and this (together with Kupfer´s in Berlin) is probably the finest as Girard manages to strike the exact balance between presenting his clear and interesting ideas as well as providing a back-drop on which the music may shine. It is, however, relatively static and it may not work with a lesser dramatically involved cast.
Daniele Gatti has received heaps of praise. I am less convinced. Clearly he has myriads of ideas, however he largely ignores the contrapunctual elements of the score and it does feel unstructured. Furthermore his coordination with the singers is not razor-sharp. Furthermore, at times he is simplly too slow and thereby looses momentum. Those who admire Barenboim and Thielemann will probably not be overwhelmed.
As for the singers, René Pape and Peter Mattei truly shine. Katarina Dalayman is a rather womanly, passive Kundry, perhaps not inappropriate for this production, with a beautiful tone.
Yes, Jonas Kaufmann is overall fine and best in Act 3. Parsifal, however is not an optimal role for him and Wagner, as of now, is not what he does best. He seems to have adopted a Lauritz Melchior attack style on his high notes which I am not sure really suits him.
Eric Owen (Alberich in the LePage Ring and the highlight of the Cycle) was the live in HD host, with a booming bass voice. I watched the transmission in Sweden, where people were disappointed that neither Mattei nor Dalayman said anything in Swedish to the cinema audiences following the examples of both Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape.
René Pape in Gurnemanz´ narration (Act 1) from the Met:
Jonas Kaufmann: Amfortas Die Wunde! (Act 2) from the Met: