Wagner’s Lohengrin

International soloists join orchestra and Victoria Choral Society to present third act of Wagner’s opera

Victoria, BC – German composer Richard Wagner meets Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in the Victoria Symphony’s big season finale, May 11 and 12, 2019, at Victoria’s Royal Theatre. “We begin with the Prelude from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and flow directly into Sibelius’ glorious and uplifting Symphony No. 7, which was inspired by Tristan und Isolde”, says music director Christian Kluxen. “Then we conclude with a tour-de-force of opera soloists and the Victoria Choral Society for the epic and triumphant third act of Wagner’s Lohengrin”.

Love, betrayal, mysticism, transformation and royalty. These are themes that figure prominently in Wagner’s work. Lohengrin tells the story of a Grail knight sent by heaven, under a condition of anonymity, to be the champion for Elsa, a princess who stands accused of murdering her brother. Lohengrin succeeds in his challenge and he and Elsa fall in love and she vows never to ask his origins. Act three takes place after their wedding and begins as Lohengrin and Elsa are escorted to their bridal chamber with the iconic “Bridal Chorus” (“Here Comes the Bride”). In the privacy of their bedchamber Elsa begins to question her new husband, and, although he begs her to stop, she eventually breaks her oath, and thereby loses Lohengrin forever.

Victoria Symphony is delighted to welcome sopranos Aviva Fortunata and Kari Postma, singing the roles of Elsa and Otrud, tenor Cooper Nolan as Lohengrin, bass Robert Pomakov as King Heinrich, and a chorus from the Victoria Choral Society for this presentation. The opera is sung in German, with English surtitles.

Twice named one of CBC Top 30 Canadian Classical Artists under 30, Italian-Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata has been praised as being “blessed with a gorgeous voice of richness and amplitude.” She is in demand on opera stages across North America and recently sang the role of Leonore in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

Norwegian soprano Kari Postma has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in Scandinavia and Europe, including roles at the Komische Oper Berlin, the Norwegian National Opera, Royal Danish Opera and as a member of the ensemble at the Staatsoper Hamburg. Ms. Postma makes her Canadian debut singing the role of Otrud.

American tenor Cooper Nolan, praised for his “bright, shining, tenor” (Musical America) and his “powerhouse voice” (Opera News), is increasingly making a name for himself as an important interpreter of some of opera’s most demanding tenor roles. He makes his Victoria debut singing the title role of Lohengrin.

Canadian bass Robert Pomakov has performed on opera stages around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera. He is currently making his Vancouver Opera debut in that company’s production of Faust and will make his Victoria debut with the Victoria Symphony, singing the role of King Heinrich.

Conducted by Christian Kluxen, Wagner’s Lohengrin is presented Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm., at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria. Tickets are $33 – $86 and are available from the Victoria Symphony Box Office at 250-385-6815 or www.victoriasymphony.ca