A relatively rare treat; authentic Wagner
, 04 Feb 2010
This is a very straightforward, authentic production. The settings and costumes have a medieval feel about them which enhances our understanding of the action. The casting is believable and all of the roles are well sung. Some of the effects are brilliant. Act II opens to a sea shore lapped by realistic looking waves. I was trying to work out how this effect was being projected when Ortrude walked into the water and got soaking wet! Very clever. There are lots of such nice touches throughout the production The first appearance of Lohengrin is nicely accomplished with the use of a laser creating a suitable mystical effect. The sword fight between Lohengrin and Telramund is conducted in slow motion; although the fight looks somewhat uneven given that Telramund seems to be armed with a rolled umbrella against Lohengrins very large and excessively curly sword. All in all, this is a very pleasing production indeed. My only reservation is that at the end, there is a quite gratuitous and unwarranted departure from the whole spirit of the opera as Elsa and Ortrude reach out to each other; apparently in a gesture of reconciliation. Ignore this aberration and enjoy a relatively rare treat; a production of which I suspect Wagner would have approved.
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