Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Wagner's Lohengrin

From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Donald Macleod presents a performance of Wagner's Lohengrin, starring tenor Johan Botha and soprano Edith Haller. Semyon Bychkov conducts.

From the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Donald Macleod introduces a performance of Wagner's Lohengrin, starring South African tenor Johan Botha, with soprano Edith Haller as Elsa.

It is a work which marked a turning point in Wagner's output and paved the way for the quartet of Ring operas that were to come. In it he wrote four challenging roles that have tested singers (and conductors) since the work's first performance in 1850.

Lohengrin has been Elsa's champion in a duel but has sworn her to secrecy about his origins. She must never ask his name or where he comes from. Not unnaturally she finds this promise impossible to keep and so he has to leave, though not before revealing to one and all that he is, in fact, a knight of the holy grail with a sacred mission. Having imparted this information he leaves as he arrived, in a boat drawn by a swan.

Donald is joined by one of the world's leading Wagner experts, John Deathridge, to help to explain Lohengrin's significance and its very special place in Wagner's output.

Wagner: Lohengrin

Lohengrin ...... Johan Botha (tenor)
Elsa von Brabant ...... Edith Haller (soprano)
Friederich von Telramund ...... Falk Struckmann (bass)
Ortrud ...... Petra Lang (mezzo-soprano)
Heinrich I ...... Kwangchul Youn (baritone)
Herald ...... Boaz Daniel (baritone)
Nobles of Brabant ...... Haoyin Xue, Ji-Min Park (tenors), Kostas Smoriginas (bass-baritone), Vuyani Mlinde (bass)
Four pages ...... Anne Osborne, Deborah Peake Jones (sopranos), Louise Armit, Kate McCarney (mezzo-sopranos)
The Royal Opera Chorus
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Semyon Bychkov (conductor).

4 hours, 30 minutes