Bayreuth Lohengrin Squared and Cubed

One of the most unusual elements in Wagner's opera about the mysterious Grail knight Lohengrin is his sudden appearance--just in the nick of time--sailing down the River Scheldt in a swan boat. Wagner himself was very specific about the swan boat, but in recent years, it has become an embarrassment for directors and designers.

The swan isn't the only problem designers and technicians have to consider when creating a new staging of Lohengrin, as was done recently in Bayreuth. Set desig

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