The rest of the cast gave excellent support. Soprano Camilla Nylund made a sympathetic and true-voiced Elsa, who can have Lohengrin as her husband as long as she never asks his name. Soprano Petra Lang tore with relish into the role of the sorceress Ortrud, hurling out chilling high notes in her invocation to the pagan gods; baritone Gerd Grochowski sang with anguished force as her husband, Telramund; Kristinn Sigmundsson intoned the role of King Henry with stentorian power, and baritone Brian Mulligan was a stalwart Herald. The chorus, hugely important in this opera, sang magnificently, and the orchestra played with sweep and majesty under music director Nicola Luisotti.
The production by Daniel Slater, previously seen in Geneva and Houston, suffers from some of the same updating-itis as the Bellini. Sets and costumes, instead of representing 10th century Germany, are inspired by the 1956 Hungarian revolution, with choristers dressed as Soviet-style officers and freedom-fighting partisans. Fortunately, Slater doesn't let the concept interfere with the drama as it plays out among the four principals, and his staging does have the merit of being unusually fluid. Mostly, though, the musical glories of the evening carry everything in their path.
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