Monday, August 31, 2015

The Rats Begin to Chew the Sheets.

Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin) and Annette Dasch (Elsa)

Hans Neuenfels's remarkable Lohengrin production got its very last performance the other day, and I am lucky to have seen it. Popularly known as the Rat Lohengrin, that performance got the biggest ovation I have ever heard for any performance. Somewhere around Klaus Florian Vogt's fourth or fifth curtain call, people started standing up, and by the time the whole cast came out for their fourth or fifth curtain call, the unison clapping had started. The ovations went on for maybe 15 or 20 minutes after the last chords.

  • Vogt's Lohengrin astounding. He sounds beautiful enough on record, even more so in person, but on record you can't tell just how much projection and power he has, this with a vocal timbre associated primarily with Mozart. Also, he can act. Also, he is as beautiful as his voice.
  • Remarkable direction and conception of Lohengrin, Elsa, and the King.
  • Rats weirdly charming and, again, beautifully directed.
  • Lab or asylum? I'm not sure.
  • Beautiful set design.
  • Jukka Rasilainen the best Telramund I have seen, vocally and dramatically.
  • Petra Lang better than in SF, where I disliked her intensely, but sounding....rather pressed toward the end. I do not hear a susccessful Isolde in her (Bayreuth, 2016).

No, I couldn't resist the post title. Could you have?


Bogda said...

A lot of Vogt's "projection and power" come from Bayreuth acoustics. His Lohengrin doesn't come close to being so powerful in other theaters (e.g. Heard him sing Lohengrin within few months in Vienna and Bayreuth, as if two different singers were present)

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks! That is really good to know. What was the effect in Vienna?