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Opera Australia to stage Olivier Py’s Lohengrin in Melbourne

Opera Australia is to stage French director Olivier Py’s version of Lohengrin in Melbourne,  14-24 May 2022.

A co-production between Opera Australia and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. Tahu Matheson conducts, with Emily Magee as Elsa, Elena Gabouri as Ortrud, Marco Vratogna as Telramund, and Jonas Kaufmann as Lohengrin. Py sets his staging in the ruins of Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. A revolving tiered set depicts a decaying theatre, where emblems of German Romanticism gather dust.

In a review of the original Brussels performance, Opera Journal of 24 May 2018 observed: “Py even takes to the stage before the start of the opera to explain why he sets his production in 1945 at the end of the war when Berlin and much of Germany was lying in ruins. Mainly it’s because he believes that Wagner’s Lohengrin is not just a nationalist display, but a warning of where such sentiments can lead. … It works in contrasts of black and white with little of shading in between. … It’s hard to see any real connect between Py’s 1945 setting and Wagner’s setting of the medieval legend, but that could well be intentional, showing a disconnect between a glorifying vision of Germanic culture.”

For booking details and trailer see: https://opera.org.au/productions/lohengrin-melbourne/ 

For Peter Bassett’s essay Wagner’s Lohengrin – the facts, see ‘Essays & Reviews’ page of this website.
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