Constance had a date with the radio today – CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera presented Wagner’s Lohengrin. We were delighted to hear this performance, recorded live at La Scala in Milan with Jonas Kaufmann, as the medieval hero Lohengrin. He was the moody and soulful Parsifal a few weeks ago, in the “Undead in Monsalvat” Live from the MET in HD version.
Now, the backstory of Lohengrin really does baffle Constance. The entire opera of Parsifal hinges on the fact that he is the one true knight, unsullied by lust. His purity allows him to get access to the Holy Grail, use the reclaimed spear to heal Amfortas, and become guardian of the secret order of knights blah blah blah….
20 years later…(new Opera) Lohengrin is introduced as the son of Parsifal. Hmmm.
So, the main plot synopsis of Lohengrin: Infighting and backstabbing in castle results in Damsel in distress. Hero arrives in miraculous boat pulled by swan. On condition of anonymity, Hero saves damsel and marries her. Damsel demands information (real name and origins of her new husband). Hero caves in to pressure, tells her the truth but then takes off. Damsel dies. All this in only 3 1/2 hours not including intermissions. It just isn’t a good idea to try and make sense of it all – just listening to the music is enough…and by the way, the famous Wedding March “Here Comes The Bride” is from this opera!