Three years after the Cincinnati May Festival Lohengrin, John Alexander would repeat the title role just once at the Met—again with Pilar Lorengar and Mignon Dunn—before embarking on the company’s spring tour where he’d perform it seven more times. Although I missed Lohengrin, I did get to hear Alexander in two German roles in Cincinnati: as Florestan waiting to be rescued by Johanna Meier in 1980 and six years later at age 63 (!) as the Italian Tenor, again with Meier (as the Marschallin).

A veteran Heerrufer at Bayreuth, Eberhard Wächter, absent I believe from the US opera scene for a decade, came to Cincinnati for Telramund. Anja Silja, also a Bayreuth Lohengrin veteran, of course also sang Ortrud. For Zurich she torments Lucia Popp and Gösta Winbergh nearly 30 years after those early Elsas.

Dolora Zajick didn’t venture into Wagner at the Met until 2017 when she potrayed Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer. But she made an earlier detour to Lohengrin for Ortrud in 2010. It’s too bad she didn’t explore more Wagner or other German operas. What might she also have made of Fricka, Die Amme, or Klytämnestra?

Klaus Florian Vogt was the Met’s most recent Lohengrin before the long gap. Karita Mattila, his Elsa, likely never sang the role after this 2006 run first opposite Ben Heppner (I heard them together many times: Lohengrin, Meistersinger, Pique Dame and Fidelio), then Vogt.

Wagner: Lohengrin

Elsa: Pilar Lorengar
Ortrud: Mignon Dunn
Lohengrin: John Alexander
Telramund: Eberhard Wächter
Heinrich: Simon Estes
Heerrufer: Lawrence Shadur

Conductor: James Levine

Cincinnati May Festival
25 May 1974

Wagner: Lohengrin

Elsa: Lucia Popp
Ortrud: Anja Silja
Lohengrin: Gösta Winbergh
Telramund: Rolf Haunstein
Heinrich: Matti Salminen
Heerrufer: Rodney Gilfry

Conductor: Ralf Weikert

Zürich Opera
29 September 1991
In-house recording

Wagner: Lohengrin

Elsa: Karita Mattila
Ortrud: Margaret Jane Wray
Lohengrin: Klaus Florian Vogt
Telramund: Greer Grimsley
Heinrich: René Pape
Heerrufer: Charles Taylor

Conductor: Philippe Auguin

Metropolitan Opera
3 May 2006
In-house recording

Wagner: Lohengrin

Elsa: Soile Isokoski
Ortrud: Dolora Zajick
Lohengrin: Ben Heppner
Telramund: James Johnson
Heinrich: Kristinn Sigmundsson
Heerrufer: Eike Wilm Schulte

Conductor: James Conlon

Los Angeles Opera
November 2010

Each Lohengrin can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a cloud with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.

Chris’s Cache will continue to appear occasionally in 2023. In the meantime, Happy New Year!