Amfortas


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Amfortas

sinful life led to perpetual suffering. [Arth. Legend: Walsh Classical, 20; Ger. Opera: Parsifal]
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Conductor Antonio Pappano brings a hushed stillness to the timeless Prelude, eliciting a gorgeous sound from the strings as the curtain rises to reveal a shaft of light on a small glass-walled cube (taking the form of an ICU ward), where Amfortas (Gerald Finley in a stupendous, heart-wrenching performance) lies writhing in pain from the wound that will not heal.
45) was rated unlucky to be demoted after winning in France and earlier chased home shock Royal Ascot scorer Amfortas.
His fellow Wagnerian luminaries include Katarina Dalayman as the mysterious Kundry, Peter Mattei as the ailing Amfortas and Rene Pape as the noble knight Gurnemanz.
Peter Mattei's agonised Amfortas is also outstanding, while Katarina Dalayman's accomplished Kundry and Evgeny Nikitin's incisive, chilling Klingsor all contribute to a cast with no weak links.
Falk Struckmann's Amfortas is also affected by Hulscher's direction.
The sonorously-voiced Yuri Vorobiev was a totally authoritative, constantly involved Gurnemanz, pleasingly less of the major-domo fusspot he can appear onstage, Yevgeny Nikitin played the mortallysinful Amfortas as less of a whinger, more of a bitter repentant, and Nikolay Putilin was genuinely fear-evoking as the selfcastrated sorcerer Klingsor.
Lucky Legs' unraced dam, Singing Diva, by Royal Academy, is a half-sister to King Edward VII Stakes winner Amfortas and to Legend Maker, dam of Chevalier and 1,000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters.
Parsifal is described to Amfortas in a vision as "durch Mitleid wissend, der reine Tor" ("a pure fool made wise through pity"), and Ventris, in something of a high-wire act, portrayed him as such without mawkishness.
But Dr Massini won't be much of a price, and the value bet of the race could be AMFORTAS each way.
But there was an ever bigger shock in the King Edward VII Stakes when previously unplaced Amfortas - a 100-1 chance at the off - struck at 66- 1.
High Hawk produced two other high-class colts by Sadler's Wells, French Derby third Hunting Hawk and Lingfield Derby Trial scorer Hawker's News, while Sunbittern's descendants include Dubawi, High-Rise, Chevalier, Virginia Waters and Amfortas.
As Amfortas, the guardian of the Grail on whom Klingsor has inflicted an endlessly agonising wound, Robert Hayward is simply outstanding.