Friday, August 28, 2009


Richard Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin, was performed for the first time on this date in 1850. And what a tale it is.

OK, here's the plot. All you really need to know is that Lohengrin is the son of Parsifal, a knight of the Holy Grail. What, you may ask, is the Holy Grail? Legend has it that's the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper. (No styrofoam was available at the time.)

Lohengrin appears to defend Princess Elsa of Brabant from the false accusation of killing her younger brother (who turns out to be alive and returns at the end of the opera).

According to Wagner the Holy Grail imbues the Knight of the Swan with mystical powers that can only be maintained if their nature is kept secret; hence the danger of Elsa's question. The most famous piece from Lohengrin is"Here Comes the Bride", still played at many Western weddings.

And you thought soap operas were complicated?? Ha!

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