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Wagner, R. (1813-1883)


Lohengrin






Composed 1846-1848.
First performed August 28, 1850.
Libretto by the composer (in German).




A Summary of gLohengrinh



Act 1
In the first half of the 10th century, in Antwerp by the river Scheldt, King Heinrich goes to visit the duchy of Brabant, however when he arrives, Grand Duke has already died. Count Telramund explains to King Heinrich, gElsa, who is the Dukefs daughter, took her brother, Gottfried, into the forest. But, she came home alone. Ifm sure she murdered her brother. I should become the successor of the Duke of Brabant.h King Heinrich orders them to decide the successor by single combat. Elsa nominates the knight, who appeared in her dream, for this. Elsa prays, and a real knight, Lohengrin, appears by a magic swan boat. Lohengrin says to Elsa, gIf you never ask my name and my origin, I will fight for you.h Elsa agrees to his condition. Lohengrin beats Count Telramund in the combat.

Act 2
Count Telramund survived. His wife, Ortrud, tempts Elsa to ask Lohengrinfs origin. To tell the truth, Ortrud is a witch, and she kidnapped Elsafs brother, Gottfried, in the forest.

Act 3
Elsa marries Lohengrin. In the night, Elsa wants to know his name and his origin, and she finally asks him. Lohengrin discloses his origin in front of Elsa, King Heinrich, and other many people. He explains that his father is Parsifal, he is one of the holy knights to protect the chalice, and he must return.
The magic swan boat appears by the river. When Lohengrin releases the swan, the swan changes into Elsafs brother, Gottfried. At that moment, Ortrud dies because her magic is broken.
Lohengrin leaves on the boat. No one knows where he goes. Elsa is very heart-broken as a result. She then dies in her brotherfs arms.




A Comment on gLohengrinh



Richard Wagner called this opera gRomantic opera in three acts.h After composing this opera, Wagner didnft compose any other gOperas.h He created his original style opera, gMusik Drama.h However, this opera, gLohengrin,h was also written by using some technique of Musik Drama. For example, there is no distinction between Aria and Recitativo. (Recitativo is a part of dialogue, but it is sung.) Wagner didnft used an overture but a prelude. And, he composed the same feeling in a scene. You will be able to learn the first step of the Wagnerfs composition technique in gLohengrin.h

When Wagner finished composing this opera, he had become engaged in political activities. So, he defected to Switzerland. It is difficult for the political offense to realize the world premiere of this opera. Then, a famous composer, Franz Liszt, who was a friend of Wagner at that time, supported the realization of this for world premiere. Liszt was the general director at the Staatskapelle Weimar. He performed the world premiere of this opera in the Staatskapelle Weimar on the 28th of August, 1850.

It is difficult to find a role which is more handsome than Lohengrin. This is the reason why gLohengrinh gained popularity among opera fans. The entrance scene on stage by a magic swan boat, and the dialogue scene with Elsa are outstanding.

In addition, the music of the scene of Elsa and Lohengrinfs wedding is known as the Wedding March. You can hear this March at many weddings these days
.





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