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ELSTER UND PARZIVAL. Opera for children

Composer: Hertel, Paul
Lyricists: Flieder, Paul
Playing time: 60:00
Genre: Opera
Instrumentation: 1,0,0,0 0,1,1,0 Schl (Pk, Chimes, kl.Tr, gr.Tr, Drums [FuTr, Snare, Tomt, HiHat, Ride/CrashBk], Tam-t, Gl), Cemb/Harm (Keyboard), Streicher (1/0/1/0/1[oder E-Bass])
Premiere performance: 29.03.2003 / Berlin / D / Deutsche Oper

Content:

Deeply submerged in the virtual world of his computer games, a young boy sits in front of his machine. His mothers warnings get on his nerves and even when his girlfriend comes to visit, he does not want to stop playing his games. His girlfriend leaves him, bored and disappointed.
Suddenly, the boundaries between the imagined world of computer games and the reality outside the machine begins to dissolve; led by a magpie whose puzzling sayings he does not comprehend, the young boy, now Parzival, penetrates into the mysterious forest of a virtual world. He must confront a horrible dragon there. The fight ends a draw, not very heroically, and the dragon threatens to return. From far away, Parzival hears the voice of his mother, and he finds out from the magpie that she has died of grief over his lovelessness. The teaching of the magpie: Think and be you! hardly gets through to him. Parzival longs to go home, and he unhappily falls asleep in the enchanted forest. In his slumber he misses the appearance of a lady named Cundrie who falls in love with him. Klingsor, King of the Night, wants to force her to seduce Parzival and hand him over. Cundrie hesitates until daybreak, for she knows that Klingsors power disappears with the first rays of the sun. Another king approaches the awakening Parzival: the visibly suffering Amfortas begs for his help but Parzival turns him away coldly. The disappointed magpie becomes a witness to how an old wanderer calls the boy stupid, cowardly and cold-hearted. Parzival, deep in thought, is startled by the entourage of the Black Knight. First wanting to sneak away, he gradually musters all his courage to fight the Black Knight, who he vanquishes and whom he finally also gives his life. The wanderer initiates Parzival into the mystery of the Holy Grail: the Grail shines like a beautiful goal, to which only those arrive who comprehend the way there with their hearts. Parzival discovers that Klingsor and Amfortas are one and the same person and liberates Amfortas from the curse of the night through his sympathy. The boy awakes in his room is relieved to find out that his girlfriend has once again returned to him out of concern for him.

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