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Richard Wagner
Michiel Dijkema
May 25th, 2023 at Estonian National Opera

Richard Wagner’s romantic opera
World premiere on August 28, 1850 in Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar

Music Director Arvo Volmer
Stage Director and Set Designer Michiel Dijkema (Holland)
Costumes Designer Jula Reindell (Germany)

"Lohengrin" is Wagner’s most lyric and romantic opera based on a large number of literary texts and German sagas and has since been interpreted in a wide variety of ways.

Does true love demand blind faith? A young duchess, Elsa, is accused of the murder of her young brother and the future heir of the Brabantian throne. As her only defence, she describes a dream in which a noble knight comes to clear her of the vile accusation – and, at that precise moment, a mysterious knight appears in a gondola pulled by a swan. He offers to fight for Elsa’s honour and then marry her, but on one condition: that she does not seek to find out who he is or where he comes from.

Wagner took up these characters and set the "forbidden question" theme at the core of the story, dealing with questions about purity, nobility and the possibility of the redeeming power of a woman’s unquestioning love. All of this is permeated with his ravishingly beautiful music, deep lyricism and power that has captivated audiences through centuries. It is no wonder that the “Bridal Chorus” from the beginning of Act 3 has accompanied many newlyweds down the aisle also in contemporary wedding ceremonies.

Michiel Dijkema: "This opera, with its reciprocity of light and darkness, is deeply touching. The world of Lohengrin is rough and poetic. Profound storytelling and intoxicating music portray a fascinating world, in which violence and religion go side by side. Actual magic, related to the Germanic gods, and – in opposition – veritable miracles, associated with Christianity, both have their place in this oscillating drama, that is fuelled by readiness for war, hunger for power, intense love and true faith."