Parsifal: the greatest meditation on death?

I’ve been watching James Levine‘s version of Parsifal. Though quite the production, it doesn’t come near the experience of the starker Simon Rattle production I saw at the Royal Opera House some years back in which I thoroughly appreciated Vera Dobroschke’s lighting design (see photo below). Here is the NYT review, far more receptive than the reviews of the 2007 production revamp. Speaking of Levine, I bumped into him on my way to “water the horses” – he wasn’t looking well at all. (An artist friend very kindly invited me to share his Symphony Hall box – I’ve never come across someone so knowledgeable and passionate about music and a very tough hockey goalie as well).