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September 21, 2020

President Klaus Iohannis, impressed by the Parsifal Phenomenon

Gala opening of the 2016-2017 season of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra starts on Friday, October 7 with Act I of Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal” under the baton of Christian Badea


President Klaus Iohannis applauded standing up, at the end of the dress rehearsal of the 1st act of Parsifal by Richard Wagner. The show was held on Wednesday evening, in the presence of an enthusiastic audience, who filled the Romanian Athenaeum hall. The phenomenon-shows provided by Christian Badea (photo L), the most famous Romanian opera conductor in the world, will take place on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, starting at 7.00 pm.

It was for the first time when a Romanian president participated to the dress rehearsal of a cultural-musical show. At the end of the performance, President Klaus Iohannis was photographed with students attending the show and congratulated the conductor Christian Badea for the “outstanding performance”.

“I was extremely impressed to meet this evening, at the opera performance ‘Parsifal’ held at the Romanian Athenaeum, a young and enthusiastic audience who filled the hall. It was a special show, staged by Master Christian Badea and his special team, whom I’ve congratulated for the extraordinary performance. I am glad that the young generation appreciates quality culture and I wish this kind of events to continue to be equally well received”, stated the President of Romania in a post on Facebook right after the event.

Christian Badea has dedicated the dress rehearsal to pupils and students.

“I am glad for the presence of the young people, in such a large number. I could feel their positive energy. The Parsifal phenomenon triggers passions that are rarely seen in Bucharest, in the classical music, which demonstrates the actuality of Wagner’s work. Young people respond frankly to this music because the legends of ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Games of Thrones’, ‘Star Wars’, with which they are already familiarized, are inspired by Parsifal and Wagner’s myths. Thus, when they listen and watch Parsifal, they have this immersion in music, identifying with it and having no inhibition anymore”, stated the Romanian conductor.

The Parsifal phenomenon gathered on Romanian Athenaeum’s stairs much more people than the hall’s capacity. All seats were occupied half an hour before the show and hundreds of people couldn’t enter. Besides, the performances on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, are sold out.


 Stage director Marin: Admission to ‘Parsifal’ rehearsal was restricted because of insufficient capacity


Stage director Doru Marin said Wednesday that admission to the public rehearsal of ‘Parsifal’ was restricted after the hall got packed to capacity, adding that the venue, the Romanian Athenaeum, has only 800 places.

“This evening Mr Christian Badea was conducting a public dress rehearsal and allowed free admission to the hall particularly of music and arts high schools and universities of Bucharest. When the hall got packed to capacity, admission was stopped. It all depended on the logistics for the show, as the event organisers and other decision makers announced the hall got filled up. (…) There were even advanced bookings for the show,” said Marin.

He added that the show also had a part when the artists dismounted the stages to travel the area between the stands and boxes.

“The choir members became themselves characters and, the same as the soloists did, they travelled these passageways so the number of spectators has to match the number of places because no standing spectator was allowed, as is the case when there are extraordinary concerts at the Athenaeum. (…) We are honoured that Mr President [Klaus Iohannis] came for the rehearsal, but the fact that the Athenaeum cannot hold more than 800 spectators had nothing to do with the President having been in the audience,” said Marin.

The statement was made after tens of people did not manage to get to the show.

The “Parsifal” shows at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest are seen as main cultural and musical highlights of the year, conducted under the baton of Christian Badea.

They provide new and unique interpretations on Romania’s stages of Wagner’s work in a show where the public gets in the midst of the play and that blends together musical components – orchestra, choir and soloists – with complex drama elements.



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