Is it possible that Richard Wagner is telling us a huge bear and that Elsa von Brabant actually murdered her younger brother Gottfried in order to come to power herself, contrary to gender conventions?
Jossi Wieler, Anna Viebrock and Sergio Morabito pursue this idea in their new production of "Lohengrin" at the Salzburg Easter Festival - and are booed at the end by the audience.
Her attempt at turning her inside out, which regards Elsa as the perpetrator, is by no means far-fetched.
After all, the act in question lies before the beginning of the action.
Only the “eyewitness” Ortrud knows more details, but she has been accused of lying since the premiere in 1850, also by Wagner himself: In the second act, in dark F sharp minor, she appeals to her desecrated gods as supporters of her revenge,
Of course, Wieler, Viebrock and Morabito care little about such musical aspects and instead believe Ortrud's words: Ortrud observes from a raised platform - the oppressive gray stage set operating with different lifting platforms alludes to the Nussdorf weir and lock system in the 19th district of Vienna in the staged prelude, how Elsa quickly changes her clothes, and from a distance recognizes Gottfried's corpse, which is invisible to the audience.
At the end of the first act, she will secure a knife as a murder weapon and a necklace with a swan pendant as a corpora delicti.
However, such details can only be seen from the first few rows of the Great Festival Hall, as can Elsa's mischievous grin when the diversionary maneuver she longed for in the person of Lohengrin nipped the beginning trial against her in the bud.
With his clumsy appearance and fashionable crusader outfit, you can hardly take the knight.
He constantly plays with his curly hair to the amusement of a few close-up viewers and would love to lay Elsa in the first act.
This Lohengrin is a nerd who has apparently read too many chivalric novels and willingly rushes to the aid of the fair damsel in dire need.
Only later does he realize that he was used by Elsa as a tool to cover up her murder.
The directing team is pursuing another line of interpretation.
In Lohengrin's demand of Elsa, "You should never question me", they recognize the entry of the irrational into an enlightened society, because the nameless unknown can only be successful if he is trusted unconditionally.
The dangers of what a ban on asking questions can lead to are shown in a variety of ways: In the bridal chamber, Elsa has to find out in a brutal way that she has not acquired any freedom, but rather a new dependence.
Ortrud, the only one not to submit to the new Messiah, is excluded from the conformist society.
The numerous choristers and extras, who at the beginning performed the scene in the most varied of clothing styles, stand in front of the king at the end, uniformed as soldiers and nurses.
calling for general mobilization.
It is perhaps the strongest interpretation of the evening - one of frightening topicality, even without a sea of Russian white-blue-red flags.Keywords: