Running time: 3 hours 40 minutes with two intermissions
Premiered on 28 February 2008
Recommended for 12+
For the first time in 70 years, Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin has been staged in Moscow. The old tale of Lohengrin, the mysterious knight of the Holy Grail, is romantic and, at the same time, frightening. The knight plays a decisive role both in the fate of Elsa, who is slanderously accused of having murdered her missing brother, and of the country plunged into chaos. He comes to Elsa's rescue and is ready to lead the country on condition that she never asks his name or origin. The girl breaks her oath, asking her beloved to reveal his mystery. Lohengrin discloses his identity, bringing Elsa’s brother back to her, but has to leave her for ever.
To work on its production of the opera, the Novaya Opera Theatre has invited Maestro Jan Latham-Koenig, a leading European conductor and a connoisseur of Wagnerian style, who many times conducted Lohengrin in different opera houses of the world. The maestro has always considered Wagner a special composer because of his unique music personality. What interests him in Lohengrin is not only the splendid music, but also the opera’s philosophic and historical aspects. According to Latham-Koenig, the production of Wagner’s Lohengrin in Novaya Opera is an important cultural event.
Novaya Opera’s Lohengrin has been produced by director Kasper Bech Holten and set designer Steffen Aarfing of the Danish Royal Opera, who scored a tremendous success with their staging of the four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung at the Danish Royal Opera in 2003–2006.
Says Kasper Holten:
“The opera “Lohengrin” is interesting from two viewpoints. First, it is a love story in which a woman tries to love a man whom she will never be able to fully understand. Second, it is a story of a society in crisis, searching for a new way of development. The main hero, who at first looks bright and brilliant, may turn out not to be the one we are taking him for. As the story progresses, we begin to doubt whether he is really a hero”.