Opera Scotland

The Spear in Parsifal 2019Wagner Society of Scotland

Read more about the opera Parsifal

Dake Bilsland on the Spear in Parsifal

The aim of the Society is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the works of Richard Wagner.  The Society is open to all and hosts a number of events. They have a number of activities, one of which is raising money for a Bayreuth Scholarship,  to contribute towards the visit of a promising artist to the Bayreuth Festival.

The speaker on this occasion is our past Chair, Dale Bilsland who will speak on ‘The Spear in Parsifal’.

                                       Constructing Parsifal: the Spear and other Influences

The significance of the Spear in the Parsifal Story as presented in Richard Wagner’s eponymous Opera is well known. The wound that would not heal unless contacted by the weapon that inflicted it, however, is not unique in legend and the Spear itself, also called the Holy Spear, Holy Lance or Spear of Destiny has an historical importance outwith the Parsifal legend to Europe in general and particularly to Germany. This would have been well known to Wagner and may have influenced his construction of the opera’s story.

Conversely the Spear is peripheral in the primary literary sources – Chrétien de Troyes and Wolfram von Eschenbach – and these overall stories differ greatly from the opera as finally conceived.

I shall discuss Wagner’s sources and influences, and the extent to which they were changed in writing the opera. The talk will be well illustrated with rare and unusual historical recordings.


New members are always welcome!

Members £7, Non-members £15 or pitch up and join.

Performance DatesThe Spear in Parsifal 2019

Map List

Edinburgh Society of Musicians | Edinburgh

24 Feb, 19.30

© Copyright Opera Scotland 2021

Site by SiteBuddha