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Irish tenor Joseph O'Mara in Lohengrin, (photograph taken 1894-5)

Lohengrin is an opera in three acts with words and music by Richard Wagner. It was first performed in Weimar, Germany on 28 August 1850 at the Staatskapelle Weimar. Franz Liszt conducted. It was a great success.

Well known numbers from the opera include the Bridal Chorus ("Here Comes the Bride"), and the Prelude to Act III depicting the wedding festivities of Lohengrin and Elsa.

Story[edit | edit source]

The opera is about a maiden named Elsa. She is accused of witchcraft by her enemies. A virtuous knight named Lohengrin appears suddenly and mysteriously to defend her on the condition that she never ask his name. Lohengrin defeats her enemies, and marries her.

For Elsa, the temptation to ask his name is too great. Elsa asks the forbidden. Lohengrin is forced to tell her that he is a Knight of the Holy Grail, the son of the great Parsifal, and that he was sent to defend her. He then leaves her to return to the land from whence he came. Elsa collapses and dies.

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