Wagner’s Lohengrin

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

American tenor and Wagner veteran Brandon Jovanovich stars as the title role in San Francisco Opera’s production of Lohengrin. Wagner’s romantic opera tells the story of a desperate woman whose troubles are solved by a mysterious knight. But royal usurpers and harrowing curses challenge their love, ultimately complicating the fairytale.

Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund stars as Elsa von Brabant, the duchess in need of a savior. German bass-baritone Gerd Grochowski and mezzo-soprano Petra Lang sing the roles of the story’s antagonists. Nicola Luisotti conducts the production, his first Wagner opera at San Francisco Opera. Watch a video preview below.


Lohengrin                                   Brandon Jovanovich

Elsa von Brabant                        Camilla Nylund

Ortrud                                        Petra Lang

Friedrich von Telramund               Gerd Grochowski

Heinrich der Vogler                      Kristinn Sigmundsson

King’s Herald                              Brian Mulligan


CONDUCTOR:                      Nicola Luisotti           

STAGE DIRECTOR:              Daniel Slater

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA ORCHESTRA & CHORUS                               

CHORUS DIRECTOR:           Ian Robertson

Comments [5]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Ricahrd Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

This performance is remarkable in that all the major roles have singers eminently fach-suitable and more than equal to the demands with beautiful, handsome timbres and vocal techniques serviceable for nuancing and adjusting to the varied dynamics that the dramaturgy urgently instantly requires. BRANDON JOVANOVICH is the standout singer and maestro NICOLA LUISOTI is unerring in his command of his choral, orchestral and singer contingent forces. The troubles that tear asunder the prospect of REAL "echt" WAGNERIAN PERFORMANCES are primarily based on the total lack of singers with squillo, ping, ringing "juicy', not dry secco , delivery, WAGNERIAN BARKING rather than legato full-throated singing, strained, forced and flat singing, unsupported, undersized and underpowered singing, WITHOUT impressive carrying power and with throaty or nasal ugly voice production. Today's news deals with deficits and declining support for the arts. Tandem to this predicament for the talented is the perception that the current situation will continue for a long time to come. Speaking specifically how this precludes the motivation for young operatic singers who must early on choosing their life's work, many have turned to Broadway or the business world. Nowadays Broadway musicals are out for show-stopping sensationalism with laser distractions, monster sets, acrobatic feats and space age technical projections and featuring dancing over singing. So, for the real thing opera singer, Broadway musicals, outside of Phantom of the Opera and an occasional Les Miserables there is little prospect of a sustainable career . The Wagner oeuvre has suffered the most. Husky physiques, witness the iconic John McCormack, do not offer similar size singing voices in power or stamina. Heroic voices like Melchior, Tamagno, Ruffo and the mature Caruso are nowhere on today's world class stages. Instead we suffer to hear miniscule, non-charismatic, non-distinctively memor able singing voices essaying roles far beyond their underpowered, thin not orotund, singing potentialities. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer [SHAKESPEARE and THE POLITICAL SHAKESPEARE] and director of The Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where all the Wagner and Shakespeare. roles are taught. www.WagnerOpera.com

Aug. 24 2013 04:07 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

CBC: Hope you are well.
Years ago, Leo Slezak missed getting on board the Swan ferry. He turned to the audience and supposedly remarked "Next swan leaves in 15 minutes." His son Walter was a great wit and frequent guest during intermissions Met broadcasts. Unfortunately, Walter got Alzheimer's and took his own life. Sorry to write a sad tale.

Aug. 24 2013 11:22 AM

This is why I listen & don't like to watch these "modern" productions.The Met's Parsifal was abysmal but Pape, Kaufmann & Dalayman were very good. Just listen & enjoy the magnifient music.Yeech on the production.

Aug. 24 2013 03:00 AM
Ray Osborne from Somerset NJ

Yet another production made for radio. Do these producers actually read the libretto before beginning a production?

Aug. 23 2013 12:00 PM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

ANOTHER faux-Fascist setting for a Wagner opera? That sort of thing wore out its welcome ages ago with all those productions of Shakespeare.

Aug. 23 2013 07:16 AM

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