How unconditional can love be, and how blind is trust? These questions are addressed in several of Wagner’s operas, but rarely as intensely as in Lohengrin.
How much mystery can human beings bear?
Elsa is caught up in a political conflict and has been accused of the murder of her brother, the heir to the throne. In desperation, she calls on a knight who appeared to her in her dreams. Suddenly the apparition of her dreams materialises before her and comes to her aid. Love blossoms between the two of them, yet the stranger imposes an unusual condition: Elsa must never ask him his name. But are human beings able to bear such a great mystery?
After Richard Strauss’s late Romantic opera Der Rosenkavalier in the spring of 2023, chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti will tackle this ultimate German Romantic opera. Lohengrin is his fist immersion into Wagner’s operatic world with its extended melodies, motifs of foreboding and grand drama. After their work on Puccini’s Turandot, Lorenzo Viotti will once more collaborate with the Chorus of Dutch National Opera.
Psychologically profound directorial style
Christof Loy, a favourite with audiences, is responsible for the stage direction. He has made a deep impression in previous productions that stand out for their psychologically profound interpretations and strong musicality – recently with his productions of Wagner’s Tannhäuser (2019) and Humperdinck’s Königskinder (2022).
Viotti and Loy will work with a cast of exceptional performers. The tenor Daniel Behle, who recently made a brilliant DNO debut as Der Königssohn in Königskinder, will be performing the title role. The soprano Malin Byström, whom Amsterdam audiences have previously seen in incisive interpretations of Salome and Tosca, will now be taking on Elsa. The seasoned Wagner singers Thomas Johannes Mayer (who sung Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen) and Martina Serafin (who was Brünnhilde in Die Walküre) are returning to DNO as the sinister couple Friedrich von Telramund and Ortrud.
Romantic opera in three acts
Sung in German
Musical direction Lorenzo Viotti
Stage direction Christof Loy
Set design Philipp Fürhofer
Costume design Barbara Drosihn
Lighting design Cor van den Brink
Video design Ruth Stofer
Choreography Klevis Elmazaj
Dramaturgy Niels Nuijten
Heinrich der Vogler Anthony Robin Schneider
Lohengrin Daniel Behle
Elsa von Brabant Malin Byström
Friedrich von Telramund Thomas Johannes Mayer
Ortrud Martina Serafin
Der Heerrufer des Königs Björn Bürger
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus Master Edward Ananian-Cooper
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo: Marta Syrko