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(Wagner: Parsifal). Bass. An evil magician, he has sworn to destroy the Knights of the Grail, who have rejected him. He wanted to join them, but knowing that his sinful and lustful way of life would exclude him, he castrated himself all to no avail. He lives in his castle on the opposite side of the mountain at Monsalvat where the Knights dwell and there he has devised a magic garden peopled by Flower Maidens whom he has trained by his magic powers to seduce the Knights of the Grail. The most important Knight, Amfortas, came to Klingsor's castle intending to destroy him, armed with the Holy Spear which was in Christ's side on the Cross. Amfortas fell for the charms of Kundry, who is totally under the influence of Klingsor, and while she seduced him, Klingsor stole the Spear and used it to inflict a terrible wound on Amfortas which will not heal. Klingsor sees Parsifal arriving and knows that this youth will be the one to heal Amfortas. He summons Kundry and orders her to help him in preventing Parsifal foiling his plans and in bringing him under Klingsor's power for ever. When Kundry is unsuccessful in her efforts to seduce Parsifal, Klingsor advances with the Holy Spear which he throws at Parsifal. To Klingsor's horror the sword hovers in the air above Parsifal, who grasps it and makes the sign of the Cross at which Klingsor and his castle disappear. Arias: Die Zeit ist da—Schon lockt mein Zauberschloss den Toren (‘The time has come—My magic castle lures the fool’); Furchtbare Not! (‘Dire distress!’). In recent years, portrayers of this role have included Hermann Uhde, Gustav Neidlinger (who sang the part at Bayreuth for over ten years in the 1950s and 1960s), Donald McIntyre, and Franz Mazura. Created (1882) by Carl Hill.

Subjects: Opera.

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