Posted December 10, 2012

posted December 10, 2012

There was no lack of drama in Milan for opening night. Italians were irate due to La Scala’s daring move to open the season with Lohengrin, the very season which marks the 200th Jubilee year of Giuseppe Verdi (and also that of Richard Wagner). But with Daniel Barenboim conducting and mega star Jonas Kaufmann singing one of his signature roles, those who had a ticket were elated.

Further consternation ensued when Anja Harteros AND her cover Ann Peterson both withdrew due to bouts with influenza. Flown in with 24 hours’ notice was Bayreuth’s current Elsa – Annette Dasch, who saved the day. The all-star cast included Jonas Kaufmann as the swan knight, Rene Pape as König Heinrich, Tómas Tómasson as Telramund, Evelyn Herlitzius as Ortrud and Maestro Daniel Barenboim conducting.

The opera was broadcast on Arte-TV with access limited to certain European satellite regions but is currently on You Tube for the time being. Here is the link and ithose adept at YouTube may wish to download before the video is pulled:

British critic Martin Kettle reviews:

If you don’t know how to download a YouTube video, here is some advice from Intermezzo Blog:

The easiest way is to use YouTube’s built-in downloading tool. First you need to download a piece of free software called Best Video Downloader. Then, go to the video’s YouTube page by left-clicking on the title at the top of the video. You will see a ‘Download’ button just beneath the video. Click on your preferred file type (MP4 or FLV only) and that’s it. It’s a large file, so it will take a few minutes to download.

image of Kaufmann from