Elsa of Brabant has been accused of the most heinous of crimes: murdering her brother. But one day a mysterious man who promises to help her appears. The price she must pay for his aid – and his love – is never to ask where he comes from, who he is or what he represents. But is this man truly the redeemer, or is he seeking his own redemption? And will Elsa be able to refrain from asking those questions?
This new production of Lohengrin by Johannes Erath is based on the universal conflict that is set out in Wagner's music drama: between blind faith on the one hand and the need for knowledge and wisdom on the other. Surrendering to a belief can truly be a blessing; however, with the human desire to see and understand, it can also lead to an intolerable situation. In a new light, love and trust can turn into naivety and ignorance.
Together with the set designer Kaspar Glarner and the costume designer Christian Lacroix, Erath has maintained the fairy tale of the Lohengrin story, which is given a striking visual expression.
When the production first premiered in Graz September 2013, the utterly aesthetic sceneries were critically acclaimed. These are inspired by Caspar David Friedrich's dramatic-romantic paintings of the monastery graveyard in the snow, encountering clean modernist surfaces – as an expression of the new world and the new art that Richard Wagner dreamed of. In this way, the story unfolds between different worlds and time levels, all while pointing to our eternal need for dreams, faith and fairy tales in the face of the ever-changing realities.