Romantic opera in three movements · libretto by the composer
Not only is »Lohengrin« one of our most significant cultural achievements, it is also closely tied to the town of Weimar. Accused of participating in the May Uprising in Dresden, Richard Wagner was forced to flee from Germany in 1849. Thanks to his friend and patron Franz Liszt, who secured false papers for him, Wagner was able to escape to Switzerland. One year later, the latest work by this politically persecuted artist celebrated its world premiere in Weimar. It was the first time the public heard the music of »Lohengrin«, staged and conducted by Franz Liszt himself.
The opera is about the advent of miracles. Are miracles the result of our desires and wishes? Can the extraordinary survive when we thoroughly scrutinise it?
Elsa von Brabant is in trouble. Ortrud and Telramund have accused her of murdering her younger brother Gottfried in order to seize power. Elsa dreams of a saviour who would come and prove her innocence. Her dream comes true and he actually appears at court. A glorious knight who not only asks Elsa’s hand in marriage, but also offers to lead the Brabant army in a war that seems all but imminent. His only condition is that no one ever inquire about his origin. When Elsa eventually asks him this forbidden question, the knight, now revealed as Lohengrin, a knight of the Holy Grail, abandons them.
In this »romantic opera«, Wagner does not so much develop a psychologically realistic drama, but rather attempts to reveal underlying social mechanisms. In their desire for a charismatic leader, the people create their own saviour. Yet absolute faith in heroic power ends where the mundane begins.
Director Tobias Kratzer has staged productions in Leipzig (Handel’s »Admeto«, 2010) and Graz (Bellini’s »La Sonnambula«, 2010), the Wermland Opera in Karlstad, Sweden (Verdi’s »Rigoletto«, 2009 and Bach’s »The Passion of St. John«, 2012), the Theater Bremen (Strauss’ »Der Rosenkavalier«, 2010 and Wagner’s »Tannhäuser«, 2011) and the Theater Basel (Gluck’s »Telemaco«, 2011). He was nominated as Opera Director of the Year in the Opernwelt yearbook for his direction of Donizetti’s »Anna Bolena« at the Theater Lucerne in 2011. He recently garnered praise for the successful production of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s opera »Wallenberg« in Karlsruhe.
Tobias Kratzer (director)
Rainer Sellmaier (stage design and costumes)
Bahadir Hamdemir (video)
Hans-Georg Wegner (dramaturgy)
Markus Oppeneiger, Tobias Kruse (choir)
Daeyoung Kim (Heinrich, der Vogler)
Heiko Börner (Lohengrin)
Johanni van Oostrum, Larissa Krokhina (Elsa von Brabant)
Bjørn Waag (Friedrich von Telramund)
Andrea Baker (Ortrud)
Alik Abdukayumov, Uwe Schenker-Primus (Der Heerrufer des Königs)