Lohengrin, 1850

Peter Hofmann as Lohengrin
Today marks the first performance of Richard Wagner's 'most saddest of creations', Lohengrin.  In my mind Lohengrin is one of Wagner's most powerful works, so heroic and yet by contrast so tragic and melancholy.

We are fortunate enough to have many wonderful recordings of this remarkable opera, it's catalogue of CD's and DVD's grows every year and it's popularity never seems to wane.  But to many, the Swan Knight was so perfectly embodied by German tenor, Peter Hofmann, in the 1970's and 80's.  He combined beauty of voice and physicality with an intelligent musical portrayal that comes close to the ideal.

In Fernem Land is both the musical and dramatic pinnacle, where the hero reveals his true identity as the son of Parsifal.  It's absolutely gorgeous, one of Wagner's most inspiring, spiritual moments.  Hofmann is here at his peak, filmed at Bayreuth in 1982, Karen Armstrong is Elsa.

This post is dedicated to the genius of Richard Wagner for the glimpse of divinity that is his Lohengrin, and to Peter Hofmann, sadly no longer with us but who would have turned 68 on the 22nd August.  Blessed be.