The Wagner Journal

Peter Quantrill, Knappe oder Ritter?

Peter Quantrill, Knappe oder Ritter?

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March 2015, Volume 9, Number 1, 16–22.

Who is Gurnemanz? This is not a trick question. According to the (generally well researched) cast books of the Royal Opera, and New Grove, he is ‘a veteran knight of the Grail’. For René Pape, who sang the role in the most recent ROH and Metropolitan Opera productions, he is ‘the highest knight of all’ but then, he would be. The production team wrote a synopsis which is more non-committal: ‘a senior member of the Grail community’, with overtones of authority and incipient senility that place him somewhere between Kenneth Clarke QC and Victor Meldrew.

The composer did not think of his character this way.

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