Stage director Patrick Bialdyga, making his debut at Oper Leipzig, has given us a spare and incisive interpretation of Lohengrin that reveals the very essence and soul of the work. In Bialdyga’s production notes, appearing in the consistently excellent Leipzig programs, the director points out two perceptions of Lohengrin as starting points. First, though seemingly “grand” in its use of settings...
The action of Lohengrin is like a set of nesting dolls. As I wrote previously, the overarching action of the play is Henry the Fowler’s effort to persuade the Duchy of Brabant to join with the Saxon armies to defeat an invader from the East. Within this is a simultaneous story of Ortrud, whose false […]
The production of Lohengrin at the Opéra National de Paris, which I saw in early February, prompts inquiry into the creative process by which theatre artists choose interpretation of classic texts. Many years ago I was involved in a production of e.e. cummings’ obscure play him, where the director extracted from the text a running […]
Halfway through the collection of “Legendary Performances” released by the Met this year, several surprises came to the fore. One was how poor the chorus at the Met was in the 1940s and 1950s. It was as if they dragged folks in from the street to have a go at the Pilgrim’s Chorus. Apparently the […]
In his informative lecture on Tristan this morning, Juilliard Professor John Muller reminded us of Berlioz’ reaction to the famous Prelude to that work: “I have listened to it with the profoundest attention and a lively desire to discover the sense of it; I have to admit that I still haven’t the slightest idea what […]