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Key details

Duration
When In the Evening
Where? National Theatre

Main description

In this monumental Neo-Romantic work, based on his own libretto, Wagner depicted his fascination with the world of knights and the medieval mystery of the holy grail. The pathos of Wagner’s works is now being brought to life at the National Theatre, whose director is none other than the composer’s granddaughter, Katharina Wagner.

The key theme of the story is the question of justice and injustice. King Henry the Fowler is preparing his empire for war with Hungary and gathering his knights. But meanwhile in Brabant he must suddenly take on the role of judge. Count Telramund has accused Elsa, the daughter of a deceased ruler, of murdering her young brother Gottfried while on a walk in the woods. The King decides that both sides will be judged by God, so Elsa must choose a knight to defend her against Telramund. She chooses the man who appeared to her in a dream on the day Gottfried disappeared. He actually arrives on a boat drawn by a great swan. He defends Elsa but upon one condition: she can never ask him his name or where he comes from…

Although Lohengrin is a 19th-century work, its atmosphere evokes a much earlier era. The performance features a thrilling prelude lasting almost 10 minutes, building up from a quiet string melancholy to a massive sound, accompanying the solemn lifting of the curtain. This is one of the dramatic moments of world opera. The almost five-hour performance is a proud portrayal of the psychology of the characters (particularly the portraits of Telramund and his cunning companion Ortrud), the visual effects of the scenes (the perfect play of light underscores the mysterious Lohengrin’s arrival), and the epic music, which is full of dramatic contrasts. If you love classical opera, you will love Lohengrin.

The three-act opera is performed in the original German with English and Czech subtitles, with the Choir and Orchestra of the National Theatre and the Choir of the State Opera.

Let’s meet there:

National Theatre Národní 223/2 Praha 1 – Nové Město 110 00

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