Wagner's Lohengrin

Nikolaus Lehnhoff (stage director), Kent Nagano (conductor) – With Tom Fox (Friedrich von Telramund), Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin) – Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

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Nikolaus Lehnhoff — Stage director

Stephan Braunfels — Set designer

Bettina Walter — Costumes

Duane Schuler — Lighting

Denni Sayers — Choreographer

Hans-Peter König — Heinrich der Vogler

Klaus Florian Vogt — Lohengrin

Solveig Kringelborn — Elsa von Brabant

Tom Fox — Friedrich von Telramund

Waltraud Meier — Ortrud

Roman Trekel — King's herald

Markus Ahme — Brabantine noble

Volker Neitmann — Brabantine noble

Dominik Hosefelder — Brabantine noble

Michael Dries — Brabantine noble

Pei-Min Yu — Page

Sharona Applebaum — Page

Program notes

ACT 1: It all begins with a government crisis. Before he can go to war against the Hungarians, King Heinrich must solve a leadership dispute in Brabant, following the death of the duke. At the tribunal, Friedrich von Telramund, a nobleman from Brabant who claims the dukedom, accuses Elsa, daughter of the deceased duke, of murdering her own brother Gottfried, the legitimate heir, who has mysteriously disappeared. Ortrud, wife of Telramund, has convinced her husband that she saw Elsa secretly drowning her brother while they were out walking. But nobody suspects the truth, which is that Gottfried has been transformed into a swan by Ortrud's magic. In her own defence, Elsa summons up a vision. A knight, who has appeared to her in a dream, will fight for her innocence. The king is compelled to resolve the matter by ordering a trial by single combat, relying on God's justice to determine the outcome. The royal herald's first two summonses go unanswered, but in response to a third summons, to the astonishment of all, a knight in shining armour appears in a boat pulled by a swan with a golden chain around its neck, just as Elsa's dream had foretold. The unknown knight asks Elsa whether, if he wins on her behalf, she will marry him. Elsa trusts the stranger unconditionally and agrees, accepting his enigmatic command never to ask about his origins, his lineage or his name. The stranger then defeats Telramund but spares his life.

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