This DVD/Blu-ray recording of Lohengrin is the fourth installment in the exclusive, multiyear partnership between DG and the Bayreuth Festival, in which the Yellow Label is the exclusive audiovisual partner of the mythical Wagner festival. Premiered on July 25, 2018, this production of Lohengrin features an all-star cast including Piotr Beczala and Anja Harteros in their house debuts, as well as the acclaimed return of Waltraud Meier to the Bayreuth Festival.
Piotr Beczala’s Lohengrin, tested in Dresden and Zurich before taking it to Bayreuth, might not have been the most intuitiveRead more choice, but he acquits himself very nicely indeed, especially for jumping in on short notice. (Roberto Alagna couldn’t be bothered to learn the text in time.) Beczala has no tendency to push Wagner like the grand Italian opera that’s generally his métier, and features several moments of great tenderness and beauty (“…vom Himmel eine Taube” and “Das süsse Lied verhallt; wir sind allein”). Waltraud Meier’s leave-taking of one of her favorite roles is impressive and touching to witness. Dramatically she can pull all registers and Thielemann makes sure she does not have to strain. Georg Zeppenfeld’s is a model of noble restraint and articulation—a joy to behold. Only Tomasz Konieczny’s Telramund doesn’t match everyone’s excellent pronunciation and does not manage to establish his character as a tragic, major element of the story. On the upside, he’s barked worse in Wagner before (and since) and the costume and makeup department made him look pretty cool.