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What of Gottfried, the non-existent swan? His appearance at the work's conclusion is usually a matter for unbridled ribaldry. He may emerge from Lohengrin's cloak or sneak up from the depths through a trapdoor. This time the laser guides him on, a stark naked little boy, so Elsa can at least be usefully employed in her woe providing him with a wardrobe. If the production has manifest absurdities, Wagner takes not the slightest notice, and weaves his spell whatever century he may momentarily inhabit. Indeed it is time stage directors realised that, as against the mighty wizard of Bayreuth, the invincible Richard the First, they have not the slightest chance.

The appearance of the naked boy at the end of Wagner's 'Lohengrin'. DVD screenshot © 2006 Festspielhaus Baden-Baden/NHK/Opus Arte
The appearance of the naked boy at the end of Wagner's 'Lohengrin'. DVD screenshot © 2006 Festspielhaus Baden-Baden/NHK/Opus Arte


Copyright © 29 March 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK


Richard Wagner: Lohengrin

OA 0964 D 3xDVD9 NTSC 16:9 anamorphic Region 0 (worldwide) LPCM Stereo, Digital DTS Surround NEW RELEASE 279' Festspielhaus Baden-Baden/NHK/Opus Arte 2006

Hans-Peter König, Heinrich der Vogler; Klaus Florian Vogt, Lohengrin; Solveig Kringelborn, Elsa von Brabant; Tom Fox, Friedrich von Telramund; Waltraud Meier, Ortrud; Roman Trekel, King's Herald; Markus Ahme, Volker Neitmann, Dominik Hosefelder, Michael Dries, Brabantine nobles; Pei-Min Yu, Sharona Applebaum, Marie-Lys Langois, Corinne Marquet, pages; Thore Vogt, Duke Gottfried; Chorus of the Opéra national de Lyon rehearsed by Alan Woodbridge; Joshard Daus, chorusmaster; EuropaChorAkademie Mainz rehearsed by Joshard Daus; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Kent Nagano, musical director; Nikolaus Lehnhoff, stage director; Stephan Braunfels, stage designer; Bettina Walter, costumes; Duane Schuler, lighting; Denni Sayers, choreography; Thomas Grimm, TV director; Ferenc van Damme, TV producer; Hans Petri, TV executive producer

Richard Wagner (1813-1883): Lohengrin (Romantic opera in three acts, first performed 1850)


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