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03 December 2023 (Sun), 19:00 Moscow theatre "New Opera" - Opera "Lohengrin" - R.Wagner (Opera in three acts)

Running time: 3 hours 40 minutes (till 22:40)

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Schedule for "Lohengrin" - R.Wagner (Opera in three acts) 2022

Composer: Richard Wagner
Choirmaster producer: Natalya Popovich

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the "New Opera" Theatre

Opera in three acts
Performed in German

Music Director and Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig
Conductor Valery Kritskov
Stage Director Kasper Holten
Assistant Stage Director Mette Hedegaard
Set and Costume Designer Steffen Aarfing
Lighting Designer Jesper Kongshaug
Viktor Kuturaev
Andrey Lazarev
Igor Manko

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."


The operas of Richard Wagner have rarely been performed in Moscow in modern times.
<...>It came as quite a surprise, therefore, when Novaya Opera announced its decision to present Wagner's "Lohengrin" as its first new production of the current season. Though the theater has recently taken on two of the thorniest works in the entire operatic repertoire, Vincenzo Bellini's "Norma" and Giuseppe Verdi's "Nabucco", with great success, it nevertheless seemed reasonable to question whether musical resources were really available for such a huge undertaking as "Lohengrin."
The answer, at least as based on a preview performance at the end of February, turned out to be a resounding "yes."
<…> Novaya Opera has long shown a knack for coming up with outstanding interpretations of very difficult roles by previously unheralded young soloists.<…> Indeed, Novaya Opera managed to find a truly outstanding Wagner interpreter for every solo part, a feat that no other Moscow opera house, including the Bolshoi, could likely match with its current roster of vocal talent.
Director Holten gave the opera a nicely delineated staging of high European standard, much aided by the abstract, vaguely Gothic sets and eclectic mixture of costumes by designer Steffen Aarfing. Holten's sympathy clearly seemed to lie on the side of the bewildered and distraught Elsa, with Lohengrin coming across more a cad than a hero.
Though his tempos occasionally seemed a bit rushed, conductor Latham-Koenig gave what was overall a noble and authoritative account of the opera and proved particularly skillful at maintaining the difficult balance between the large orchestral forces and the singers on stage.

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Schedule for "Lohengrin" - R.Wagner (Opera in three acts) 2022

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