(Edison, 1904) Music by Richard Wagner, arranged by Max Spicker
Lecture with slides and motion picures.

Motion pictures used as ‘moving slides,’ the eight pieces of film which constitute Parsifal were preserved as ‘paper’ prints deposited for copyright and were meant to be used as part of the illustration ofr a lecture on Wagner’s opera Parsifal. Timed to take advantage of the scandal of Parsifal’s first American performance at the Metropolitan Opera in 1903 (the Wagner family attempted, unsuccessfully, to prevent its performance) and in English at Hammerstein’s theater in 1904, Edison’s version is an unusual and graphic illustration of how a general audience was educated about opera. Beautifully restored by the Library of Congress, the film has been hand-painted as it may have been in 1904.


Performing forces
1 piano player, one singer (Kundry’s aria). 1 actor or actress to read the lecture.
Rehearsals Two 2 ½ hour rehearsals
One 1 ½ hour tech rehearsal
One 2 ½ hour dress rehearsal with film
Performance time 1 ½ hours (no intermission)
Film speed 16 frames per second
Film source Library of Congress
Rights Public domain
artwork:Lidia Bagnoli