Mastodon San Francisco Opera's new Lohengrin opens October 20 - The Wagnerian

San Francisco Opera's new Lohengrin opens October 20

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 19 October 2012 | 2:29:00 am

Brandon Jovanovich 
Photo by Terrence McCarthy.




SAN FRANCISCO (October 15, 2012)—San Francisco Opera presents Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin at the War Memorial Opera House, opening on October 20 with six subsequent performances through November 9. American tenor Brandon Jovanovich sings the title role opposite Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund, appearing as Elsa von Brabant. Also appearing in this new-to-San Francisco Opera production, which was designed by Robert Innes Hopkins and is directed by Daniel Slater, are veteran Wagnerians Petra Lang as Ortrud, Gerd Grochowski as Friedrich von Telramund and Kristinn Sigmundsson as Heinrich der Vogler, as well as Brian Mulligan as the King’s Herald.

Following his great success as Siegmund in San Francisco Opera’s most recent Die Walküre, American tenor Brandon Jovanovich returns to the Company to make his title role debut in Wagner’s Lohengrin. Of his appearance in 2011’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen, the San Francisco Chronicle called Jovanovich a “first-rate Wagner tenor.” Other recent appearances with the Company include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (2007), Luigi in Il Tabarro (2009) and Froh in 2011’s Das Rheingold. Later this season the tenor will appear as Pinkerton with Los Angeles Opera, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut in Brussels and Sergey in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Zurich.

Petra Lang
Appearing as the noble warrior’s bride, Elsa von Brabant, is Camilla Nylund. The Finnish soprano makes her San Francisco Opera debut in a role she has previously performed in Budapest, Dresden, Vienna, and Cologne. Recent career highlights include Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus and the title roles of Salome, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Arabella with the Vienna State Opera; Elisabeth in Tannhäuser at the Bayreuth Festival, San Diego Opera, Berlin State Opera, and in Cologne; and Salome with Paris Opera and in Valencia, Toulouse, and Cologne.

Mezzo-soprano Petra Lang appears as Ortrud, a role she has previously sung in Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest, Vienna, Geneva, London, and Edinburgh; she will reprise the role later this season at the Bayreuth Festival. The noted Wagnerian made her San Francisco Opera debut as Venus in 2007’s Tannhäuser, a role she has also sung at Milan’s La Scala, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Baltimore Opera.

German bass-baritone Gerd Grochowski made his San Francisco Opera debut as Jaroslav Prus in 2010’s The Makropulos Case and returned as Donner and Gunther in the 2011 Ring cycle. He appears in this production as Friedrich von Telramund, a role he has also sung in Tokyo, Berlin and London.

Kristinn Sigmundsson returns to San Francisco Opera as Heinrich der Vogler, a role he has previously performed in Munich, Berlin and Madrid. The bass made his San Francisco Opera debut as Méphistophélès in the 2002 production of La Damnation de Faust and has since returned to the Company as King Marke in Tristan und Isolde, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier and most recently, Sarastro in The Magic Flute.
Camilla Nylund

Baritone Brian Mulligan returns to San Francisco Opera in his role debut as the King's Herald. Mulligan garnered wide acclaim last season for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in John Adams' Nixon in China. His recent San Francisco Opera appearances include Valentin (Faust), Albert (Werther), Ragueneau (Cyrano de Bergerac) and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), all in 2010. Other notable engagements include Valentin at the Metropolitan Opera; Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Washington National Opera, and the title role of Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer with Opera Theater of St. Louis.

Music Director Nicola Luisotti conducts his first Wagner opera of his career, and British stage director Daniel Slater directs this co-production of Houston Grand Opera and Grand Théâtre de Genève. Slater previously directed San Francisco Opera’s 2004 production of Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. This production of Lohengrin, designed by Robert Innes Hopkins, is set in a post-World War Two Eastern Bloc state and updates Wagner’s mythical story for a contemporary audience.

San Francisco Opera Guild will present an Insight Panel Discussion featuring members of the cast and production team from Lohengrin. The discussion will take place on Monday, October 15 at 6 p.m. in the Green Room at the War Memorial Veterans Building (401 Van Ness Avenue). Insight panels are free for Opera members and $5 for the general public; tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes prior to the discussion.

Sung in German with English supertitles, the seven performances of Lohengrin are scheduled for October 20 (7 p.m.), October 24 (7 p.m.), October 28 (1 p.m.), October 31 (7 p.m.), November 3 (7 p.m.), November 6 (7 p.m.), and November 9 (7 p.m.), 2012.

Cast:                                                                                                       Production Team:                               
Lohengrin                              Brandon Jovanovich                          Conductor                              Nicola Luisotti                     
Elsa von Brabant                  Camilla Nylund*                                   Director                                  Daniel Slater
Ortrud                                    Petra Lang                                             Scenic and Costume Designer Robert Innes Hopkins
Friedrich von Telramund     Gerd Grochowski                                 Lighting Designer                 Simon Mills
Heinrich der Vogler               Kristinn Sigmundsson                         Chorus Director                     Ian Robertson     
King’s Herald                         Brian Mulligan                                    Movement Director              Leah Hausman     

* San Francisco Opera Debut   Role Debut  ● OperaVision Performance