Part of the Calder Opera Guides in Association with the English National Opera (ENO) series
The legend of the Swan Knight who rescues a princess from the forces of pagan evil is one of the foundation myths of Christian Europe.
Lohengrin's transformed Wagner into an international figure almost overnight, and it remained his most popular work throughout the nineteenth century.
Thomas Grey proposes that this was because it offered a 'cautious taste' of his later works, while preserving some of the comfortably familiar traditions of French grand opera.
John Deathridge asks why Wagner was so quick to deny its specifically Christian symbolism, and Janet Nelson argues that his vision of the Christian Middle Ages uncannily prefigured a modern historical approach.
This new English translation is by Amanda Holden.