- Highly Recommended
- Somewhat Recommended
- Not Recommended
Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended
"...The relationship of Elsa and Ortrud is really at the heart of Lohengrin. The very unsubtle good versus evil theme would seem hopelessly naive and stilted to our modern eyes if we did not know that what we are witnessing is historical allegory. Ortrud and her Pagan gods are fading, as Christianity (as represented by Elsa and Lohengrin, her templar knight) ushers in a new world order. In the end, although Elsa and Lohengrin triumph, Ortrud has placed enough doubt in her mind that Elsa is compelled to ask Lohengrin the very question that she promised she never would, bringing to a tragic end to what is now considered the last of Wagner’s operas in the classic German Romantic style. Big, beautiful and unabashedly sentimental, Lohengrin laid the groundwork for Wagner’s use of the leitmotif in his revolutionary opera masterworks, Tristan und Isolde and Der Ring Des Nibelungen. Whether you are an aficionado well-schooled in Wagner, or are looking to experience the scale and grandeur of his work for the very first time, Lyric’s Lohengrin delivers that and much more."
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ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended
"...Having said all that—having come to terms with the abhorrent politics of the piece—Lohengrin (which was first performed for Goethe’s 101st birthday, with Liszt conducting) is a wonderful opera. It may not be a good introduction to the genre, and at four and a half hours, it is truly a Wagnerian epic, but it gives the listener great joy—especially when one does not think, but allows oneself simply to feel, as Wagner would have wanted. And the staging of the Lyric is grand. Its stark, white backdrops with minimalistic-but-intricate sets and props, and its caged staging behind and between scrims, is awe-inspiring and imaginative. There is also the piece of music that every girl—and therefore every boy—knows: the Bridal Chorus, “Treulich geführt,” known colloquially as “Here Comes the Bride,” an iconic piece of music that alone places Wagner firmly among the greats, even without his Ring or his Parsifal. Lohengrin is a middle work that showcases Wagner’s strengths: the vocal melodies meld and blend beautifully with the orchestration, which, with Wagner, is not always the case. This opera would be a good introduction to the composer. And the Lyric executes it with great care, and great success.
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Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended
"...For opera newbies, there are two prominent familiar tunes in Lohengrin. The more obvious melody is the bridal march. Reading the German translated words, the song becomes much more romantic than the cheesy ‘here comes the bride’ mainstream version. Wagner’s original libretto is sweet thoughts of hope and wishes for a pleasurable union. The other recognizable moment will be around a few haunting bars of notes repeated throughout the show in relation to the swan hero. Here’s the symmetry moment, you’ll identify it from Swan Lake and its recent resurgence in popularity with the movie “Black Swan”. On a post-show read around, I discovered that Lohengrin was first performed in 1850. A Wagner admirer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky premiered Swan Lake in 1877. I guess this swan song lives on in two masterpieces."