Constance Dreams of Swans and Heros

Constance Dreams of Swans and Heros

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!



To view Constance’s other opera reviews go to this link

10 thoughts on “Lohengrin

  1. The Country Hitty’s are so in awe of Constance and her grasp of opera details. As they have pointed out to me (with
    a certain amount of condescension) understanding The Grand Ole Opry is just not the same!!i

    • Constance learns a lot from the program notes! Today she was following along with the libretto – it is important to get some kind of grasp of the plot of this opera as we are going to see and hear it again this summer in Finland! Constance is packing her trunk as I write, and the musical dress is going in first!

      • Our Hittys think that any Wagner – reading the libretto is mandatory to enjoyment of the opera! The family music expert used to say read the libretto three times before the performance (!!) and then it will be great. It’s true, if you can find the time…. in my experience Hittys have more time than we do ;-)) Then with the Ring, it pays off also to acquaint yourself audibly to the musical motifs and what they mean (some librettos list them in the text when they appear which is super useful) Then the actual performance can be Absolute Magic!!

  2. Constance is always teaching us some thing about opera. I am glad she enjoys it, but how did she persuade that swan to come for a visit? Is that not a miracle too?
    Nice comfy sofa – it looks much more comfortable than the chairs in the Star Cinema where she so often views opera.

    • Constance does find that a miraculous swan, and she LOVES the comfy sofa – it is much softer than the Star Cinema seats…thanks to a Hitty friend for the new “Opera Throne”.

  3. Constance always educates us on opera. I love “Here comes the Bride” and now I know where it comes from. Such a beautiful story. Constance is lucky because she gets to appreciate such good opera.

  4. Pingback: Savonlinna Opera Festival, Finland | Quimper Hittys

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