30 Jun 2022, Thu, 7.30pm
(Intermission: 1 x 15mins)
Esplanade Recital Studio
This event is over.
This event is over.
The Richard Wagner Association (Singapore) proudly presents arias and piano transcriptions from Richard Wagner's operatic masterpiece, Lohengrin, in a Singapore première. The singers are Shaun Lee, Wendy Woon, Greg McCreanor, Martin Ng, Chieko Trevatt and Shawn Liew, accompanied by pianists Samuel King and Toby Tan.
The story of the opera, first performed in 1850 in Weimar, is derived from medieval German romances, particularly Parzival of Wolfram Von Eschenbach, and the sequel Lohengrin. The eponymous hero is a Knight of the Holy Grail sent in a boat drawn by a swan to rescue a noblewoman in mortal danger. The opera inspired Ludwig II to build the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, named after the Swan Knight.
We are transported back to the 10th century and the Duchy of Brabant, roughly corresponding to a region in modern-day Belgium. The Duchy is beset by political struggles, and Elsa, a noblewoman, is falsely accused of murdering her brother Gottfried in order to become Duchess of Brabant. Elsa prays for justice, and a shining Knight appears at the court on a mission to prove her innocence. But there is an important condition. At the Knight's request, Elsa must never ask him his origin or name. The Knight defeats Elsa's accuser, Count Friedrich von Telramund, in combat and she is declared innocent.
Sorcery Ortrud, Telramund's wife, is intent on pursuing her intrigue for power in the Duchy, invoking the pagan gods for help. She persuades her husband that Elsa must be tricked into violating the Knight's condition and ask him for his identity. Meanwhile, Elsa and the Knight have decided to marry, and in the hours before the wedding, Ortrud taunts Elsa over how she can possibly marry someone she knows nothing about, someone who could leave her just as suddenly as he appeared. The evil couple of Telramund and Ortrud also accuse the Knight of sorcery. Shaken by what Ortrud says, Elsa manages to collect herself and enters the church, where she and the Knight marry.
Later in the bridal chamber, nagged by doubts, Elsa finally asks the Knight to reveal his name. After repeated refusals, the Knight with great sadness discloses that he is Lohengrin, son of Parsifal, guardian of the Holy Grail. Since his identity is now public, Lohengrin has no alternative but to leave her. Ortrud then appears and declares that the swan is none other than Elsa's brother Gottfried, whom she transformed into the creature through a curse. Lohengrin falls into intense prayer, and the swan miraculously turns back into Gottfried, who is elected Duke of Brabant. The people accuse Ortrud of witchcraft. A dove descends from heaven to take the place of the swan at the prow of the boat, leading Lohengrin back to the castle of the Holy Grail. A grief-stricken Elsa dies in her brother's arms.
30 Jun 2022, Thu
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