Celebrities, Fashion and Beauty

Lohengrin, Royal Opera House — making Wagner great again

Lohengrin, Royal Opera House — making Wagner great again

Lohengrin, Royal Opera House — making Wagner great again
June 10
23:59 2018

Loading...

Trust Wagner to give us a modern-day parable. A nation is in crisis, a woman is compromised, and she calls on a mystery champion to save the day. Who is he — a mythic knight, a Christ-like saviour, or a demagogic leader promising to make the country great again?

The Royal Opera’s new production of Lohengrin has its own take on the question. Drawing on the shadow cast over later generations by Wagner’s political views, David Alden, the director, has filled the stage with Fascist-style iconography, albeit of an unspecific kind.

As political productions go, this one is fairly routine, restricting itself to uncontroversial, general points. In place of medieval Brabant we get a bombed-out modern city, where flags featuring Lohengrin’s swan have taken on swastika overtones and the populace punch the air with pseudo-Nazi salutes. An oppressive regime has been holding Elsa in an underground cell. There is a drab, utilitarian look to it all, but Alden is a professional, who works through his scenario with a mounting sense of its dramatic potential.

Klaus Florian Vogt as Lohengrin, left, and Thomas J. Mayer as Telramund. Photo: Clive Barda

Who, though, is Lohengrin here? The production sends out confusing signals. The rallies and swan flags hail him as a kind of 1930s dictator, and yet he had seemed a hope for the future, dressed in his white suit and sung by Klaus Florian Vogt with otherworldly, choirboy-like beauty. This is surely his best role, projected with impressive power, but also poetic and expressive.

In place of the advertised soprano, Jennifer Davis does very well as Elsa, albeit without the warm sheen to her voice that the role ideally demands. Christine Goerke and Thomas J Mayer are the fearsome representatives of a Pagan underworld, Ortrud and Telramund, though a tired-sounding Goerke seemed hard-pressed at the top of her voice. The fine German bass Georg Zeppenfeld and Lithuanian bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas deal strongly with the tedious proclamations of Heinrich I and the Herald.

Over this coolly calculated staging an inspiring glow of light and warmth shines from the orchestra pit by the baton of Andris Nelsons. Wagner conducting of this quality, so well-paced and richly involving, gloriously played and sung by the Royal Opera orchestra and a bolstered chorus, does not come round often. Elsa certainly finds a Wagnerian champion down there.

★★★★☆

To July 1, roh.org.uk

Loading...


Source link

Share

About Author

webmaster

webmaster

Related Articles

Ads

The Red Tea Detox

Ads

Ads

The Red Tea Detox
Loading...
Get Paid Taking Pictures