Wagner's deals with the myth of King Arthur for the first time in Lohengrin. Lohengrin is the son of Parsifal, the hero to whom, nearly forty years later, the composer dedicated his last great operatic work. Lohengrin too is mysterious redeemer, a knight with no name who arrives in a boat drawn by a swan to save a lost society from ruin.
Lohengrin (Weimar, 1850) was inspired by medieval poems from the Arthurian cycle. Lohengrin, the son of Parzival, has been sent to Brabant to defend Elsa against a false charge of fratricide and to govern the dukedom justly. He arrives, drawn by a swan, and challenges and conquers Telramund in a trial by God held by King Henry the Fowler. He agrees to marry Elsa, but on one condition: she must never ask his name or where he came from. But Ortrud, Telramund's wife, sows doubt in Elsa' mind and after the wedding Elsa asks the fatal question. Lohengrin kills Telramund in self-defence, proclaims his identity and announces that he must leave. Elsa dies of sorrow.
Romantische Oper in three acts. Libretto and music by Richard Wagner.First performed on 28 August 1850 at the Weimar Court Theatre.First performance at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 6 March 1883.