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Albino Snake, Bondage Enliven Lush Brussels ‘Parsifal’: Review

Friedrich Nietzsche, accompanied by a live, wriggling white serpent, greets the audience in a new staging of Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Brussels opera house.

Romeo Castellucci’s production of Wagner’s 1882 mystical pageant at La Monnaie/De Munt is a radical reading of the composer’s jumble of Christian and pagan symbols. It moves from a pantheistic wood in the first act to a grim sadomasochistic laboratory in the second and a crowd on the march in the third.