Starring in their premiere Wagnerian roles, Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczała, alongside the outstanding Staatskapelle Dresden and led by the baton of Christian Thielemann, were met with standing ovations from audiences, and an equally warm acclaim from critics: “Pure bliss! Never ending applause!” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
Anna Netrebko’s role debut as Elsa was one of the most wildly anticipated musical events: “The soprano sang a lush, mature-sounding Elsa with undeniable bel canto shadings, utterly at home in Wagner’s Romantic universe. Netrebko’s finely calibrated interpretation captured the full range of Elsa’s emotional development...Her plush voice seemed to glow from within”, (Opera News). The “Primadonna assoluta” (Die Welt) stars across fellow Wagnerian debutant Piotr Beczała whose role debut as the eponymous Grail Knight has garnered the acclaimed tenor further plaudits from fans and critics alike: “The revelation was Piotr Beczała, who was just about perfect in the title role” says WQXR “Netrebko and Beczała are Wagner Stars” summarized the New York Times “and were frenetically celebrated by the audience.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
Georg Zeppenfeld as a convincing and majestic Heinrich der Vogler and outstanding Wagnerians Evelyn Herlitzius and Tomasz Konieczny as the opponents Ortrud and Friedrich von Telramund complete the cast in King Ludwig II’s favorite opera at the Semperoper Dresden, where operatic history has been written with the theatre playing host to three important Wagner premieres. In the pit is Wagner’s “Wunderharfe”, the Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Christian Thielemann, doubtlessly today’s foremost conductor of this repertoire. “Some enthuse about their best ever Lohengrin, but for sure this was one of the ten best opera performances in their lives” (Die Welt).
The staging, a revival of the timeless production by Christine Mielitz, tells the story of the evil couple Ortrud and Telramund wanting to seize power in Brabant and attempting to destroy Elsa, the heir to the throne after the disappearance of her brother Gottfried, first with psychologic depth, timeless setting and stunning costumes: “The star of the acclaimed stage production continues to shine bright” (New York Times).