Act III of Lohengrin begins with Elsa and her mysterious protector’s wedding night. The King and chorus lead them into the wedding chamber, and when they are finally alone, the two of them launch into a love duet. But soon the knight utters Elsa’s name and she laments that she can’t return the favor. He warns … Continue reading The Grail Made Me Do It
Although Lohengrin can be seen to deal with some weighty philosophical issues, in its simplest form it can be viewed as a fairy tale. Wagner drew upon history and both pagan and Christian mythology in devising his libretto, and there is one historical personage depicted, King Heinrich (Henry the Fowler), who has come to Brabant … Continue reading The Forbidden Question
I became a Wagnerite in 1971, and a Perfect Wagnerite the following year. For several reasons I didn’t get to know his opera Lohengrin very well, though I did go to see a great performance of it at the Met in the late 70s. I’m rectifying that omission now, and of course there’s a wealth of … Continue reading Prelude
I’ve never been one for celebrating New Year’s Eve, and I usually just stay at home those nights, but in 1978 I decided to make an exception as a friend and I headed to New York City, the locus classicus of New Year’s Eve celebrations, to ring in the New Year with panache. Pat … Continue reading New Year’s Eve 1978
In a word, it was wonderful (a word that the poet Richard has never used in a poem, apparently). First a word for the assistant conductor, whom I discovered when I read the Additional Credits list. It was Kensho Watanabe, one of the hosts of the Classical Gabfest podcast. Nice to see a friendly name … Continue reading The Hours After
Today the Philadelphia Orchestra is unveiling the world premiere of the Kevin Puts opera The Hours, based upon the novel and movie of the same name. OK, actually the world premiere was on Friday evening, but today’s performance is the second. So there. I greatly enjoyed the Kevin Puts opera Silent Night, when the Opera Company Philadelphia … Continue reading The Hours Before
Just want to add a quick note that I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's matinee performance of the opera Silent Night. I attended the pre-performance lecture, which was helpful, as it filled in a lot of details of the plot that I had missed when watching the movie. But it was the performance itself that really grabbed … Continue reading Silent Night at Opera Philadelphia
Suppose Prince Charles of the UK were assassinated while he was traveling in South Korea. Would you consider that a justification for the US going to war with, say, Japan? No? And yet in essence that's what precipitated the First World War, or The Great War, as it was called. Archduke Ferdinand of Austria … Continue reading It’s Christmas! How About a Little Truce?