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Lohengrin

7 June—1 July 2018
Main Stage

Wagner’s great Romantic opera is conducted by Andris Nelsons with a cast including Klaus Florian Vogt and Christine Goerke in a new production directed by David Alden.

When to see it

The Story

Elsa’s brother Gottfried has disappeared. Her prayers for a champion are answered by the appearance of the mysterious Swan Knight. But the malicious Telramund and his sorceress wife Ortrud convince Elsa to ask the knight’s name – a question that will force him to leave her.

Elsa finally demands to know the knight’s identity. He reveals he is Lohengrin, a knight of the Grail. Now his name is known, he can no longer stay with Elsa. Gottfried returns, but Lohengrin leaves and Elsa falls lifeless to the ground.

Background

Lohengrin was the first fruit of Wagner’s fascination with the Holy Grail myths of Arthurian legend, the end point of which would be his final masterpiece Parsifal. Written between Tannhäuser and the first operas of the Ring cycle, Lohengrin marks a turning point as Wagner moves from conventional operatic form to the music dramas of his mature style. The two forms combine in Lohengrin to create a work of fervent music imagination and great dramatic power.

David Alden directs a new production of this masterpiece from Wagner’s early maturity, The Royal Opera’s first since 1977. Alden sets his production of Lohengrin in a bombed-out city, and depicts a chaotic, war-torn and politically divided society in which the people crave a strong leader and a sense of purpose.

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