11 Nov-3 Dec 2023


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

4:30, incl. 2 intervals




How much mystery can human beings bear?

How unconditional can love be, and how blind is trust? These questions are addressed in several of Richard Wagner’s operas, but rarely as intensely as in Lohengrin.

Photo: Marta Syrko

How much mystery can human beings bear?

The story
Elsa is caught up in a political conflict and has been accused of the murder of her brother, the heir to the throne. In desperation, she calls on a knight who appeared to her in her dreams. Suddenly the apparition of her dreams materialises before her and comes to her aid. Love blossoms between the two of them, yet the stranger imposes an unusual condition: Elsa must never ask him his name. But are human beings able to bear such a great mystery?


Lorenzo Viotti’s Wagnerian debut

After Richard Strauss’s late Romantic opera Der Rosenkavalier in the spring of 2023, chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti will tackle this ultimate German Romantic opera. Lohengrin is his fist immersion into Wagner’s operatic world with its extended melodies, motifs of foreboding and grand drama. After their work on Puccini’s Turandot, Lorenzo Viotti will once more collaborate with the Chorus of Dutch National Opera


Psychologically profound directorial style

Christof Loy, a favourite with audiences, is responsible for the stage direction. He has made a deep impression in previous productions that stand out for their psychologically profound interpretations and strong musicality – recently with his productions of Wagner’s Tannhäuser (2019) and Humperdinck’s Königskinder (2022).

Viotti and Loy will work with a cast of exceptional performers. The tenor Daniel Behle, who recently made a brilliant DNO debut as Der Königssohn in Königskinder, will be performing the title role. The soprano Malin Byström, whom Amsterdam audiences have previously seen in incisive interpretations of Salome and Tosca, will now be taking on Elsa. The seasoned Wagner singers Thomas Johannes Mayer (who sung Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen) and Martina Serafin (who was Brünnhilde in Die Walküre) are returning to DNO for Lohengrin as the sinister couple Friedrich von Telramund and Ortrud.

Performance information

Romantic opera in three acts 
Sung in German

Musical direction  Lorenzo Viotti
Stage direction  Christof Loy 
Associate director  Georg Zlabinger
Set design  Philipp Fürhofer
Costume design  Barbara Drosihn
Lighting design  Cor van den Brink
Video design  Ruth Stofer
Choreography  Klevis Elmazaj
Dramaturgy  Niels Nuijten

Heinrich der Vogler  Anthony Robin Schneider
Lohengrin  Daniel Behle
Elsa von Brabant  Malin Byström
Friedrich von Telramund  Thomas Johannes Mayer
Ortrud  Martina Serafin
Der Heerrufer des Königs  Björn Bürger
Vier Brabantische Edle
Christiaan Peters, François Soons,
Harry Teeuwen [14 nov Hans Pieter Herman], Jeroen de Vaal
Vier Edelknaben
Taylor Burgess, Vida Matičič Malnaršič, Elsa Barthas, Yvonne Kok

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus Master  Edward Ananian-Cooper

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Online programmaboek

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

Lorenzo Viotti

‘I deliberately waited a while to conduct my first Wagner opera. I had to let his world mature in me. You have to find a certain calmness in your conducting style to be able to shape the freedom of sound.’

Lohengrin: Lorenzo Viotti’s first Wagner Opera

Photo: Elmer van der Marel

A rehearsal day in the life of chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti

From 11 November to 3 December, Lorenzo will be in the orchestra pit where he will conduct the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chorus and soloists. Check out his rehearsal day of Wagner’s Lohengrin below - from a rainy bike ride to a stage rehearsal and language class!

Lorenzo Viotti op de fiets
Cycling to the theatre | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Schoenen drogen
Drying shoes after a rainy bike ride | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Lorenzo in de orkestbak
In the orchestra pit | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
De partituur doornemen
Going over the score | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Lorenzo in de orkestbak tijdens de toneelrepetitie
In the orchestra pit during a stage rehearsal | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Lunch in de artiestenfoyer
Lunch in the artists foyer | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Lorenzo tijdens de toneelrepetitie
During a stage rehearsal | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Language class | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Lorenzo Viotti tijdens de toneelrepetitie
In the orchestra pit during a stage rehearsal | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Lorenzo Viotti in de Grote Zaal
In the Main Stage | Photo: Elmer van der Marel
Muzikaal fragment uit Wagners Lohengrin door tenor Daniel Behle
trailer Lohengrin

5 reasons to look forward to Lohengrin ...

Scenes Lohengrin
Scenes Lohengrin (2023) | Photos: Marco Borggreve
Bride nearly drowns in her drag
man with sword, excitement among onlookers
The couple
Elsa and Ortrud
Desperate bride and groom
Icy atmosphere
He makes his point
scènebeeld Lohengrin
in the media

Lorenzo Viotti makes choir and orchestra shine in thrilling 'Lohengrin' - Viotti's climaxes arrived gigantic, supported by his ecstatic body language.

12 November

[...] the new production of Lohengrin is a must hear and see. Opera chief Lorenzo Viotti's Wagner debut [...] is a model of transparency, thanks to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, who are well practiced in performing Wagner.

13 November

Director Loy is interested in the psychology of the masses, and that works out well: Lohengrin is full of great choral scenes. The chorus is also in excellent shape under new chorus director Edward Ananian-Cooper.

12 November

Featured Chorus of DNO gives ordinary people a voice in noble Wagner opera - In his first Wagner opera, the (still) young conductor Lorenzo Viotti beautifully leads the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in an unprecedentedly large orchestra through refined, sometimes almost deathly quiet passages. The soloists are all strong.

11 November

Loy, Viotti and Nedpho make Lohengrin - Viotti alternated hushed moments with swelling Wagnerian bombast with the sound flowing in waves from the orchestra pit and flooding the auditorium. Exactly as befits a good performance of Lohengrin.

12 November
Costume design Barbara Drosihn
Costume design Barbara Drosihn
Rehearsal Lohengrin - Regisseur Christof Loy with team | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Set design
Set design Philipp Fürhofer
Rehearsal Lohengrin
Rehearsal Lohengrin - Malin Byström (l) | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Set design Philipp Fürhofer
Set design Philipp Fürhofer
Director Christof Loy with team
Rehearsal Lohengrin - Director Christof Loy with team | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Costume design Barbara Drosihn
Costume design Barbara Drosihn
Rehearsal Lohengrin
Rehearsal Lohengrin - a.o. Anthony Robin Schneider (l) and Malin Byström (r) | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Lohengrin
Rehearsal Lohengrin - Thomas Johannes Mayer and Martina Serafin | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Set Lohengrin

Forest of mirrors for the set of Lohengrin

The set

The set as art or art as the set? With an ingenious installation of metal frames, light strips, mirrors and images painted onto different materials, artist Philipp Fürhofer’s set design is fit for a museum.


bruid met sleep midden op het podium
Scene Lohengrin (2023) | Photo: Marco Borggreve

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra have been the main orchestral partners of Dutch National Opera for over thirty years. They are regarded as among the best opera orchestras in the world. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is the main regular stage for their concerts.

Photo: Melle Meivogel

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

In addition to the programmes with chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti and Gordan Nicolić (musical leader of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra), the orchestras collaborate with both internationally acclaimed guest conductors and soloists and top-class musicians from the up-and-coming generation. The orchestras perform at numerous venues, bringing people together through their music and giving both classical music aficionados and new audiences the perfect musical experience. With their welcoming home base in the NedPhO Dome in Amsterdam’s Indische Buurt neighbourhood, the two orchestras are at  the heart of the community and aim to make classical music accessible to everyone who shows an interest.

In the 2023-2024 season, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing the operas Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, Lohengrin, Il trittico and Oedipus Rex / Antigone.The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra can be heard in Die Zauberflöte and Roberto Devereux

Podcast Lohengrin

In the podcast, dramaturge Laura Roling tells the story of Lohengrin. She also lets dramaturge of the opera, Niels Nuijten, speak about the context in which the opera was created, about characters and about some of the musical characteristics in this opera by Richard Wagner.

Podcast Lohengrin

By: Laura Roling

The media on Christof Loy

Masterful staging by Christof Loy brings together antipodes in 'Tannhäuser' ... Loy works things out with mastery. [Tannhaüser-ed.]

8 April

Praise also for director Christof Loy, who signs for the most convincing opening scene in years (...) [Tannhäuser - ed.]

8 April

Together with director Christof Loy, Albrecht stands up for 'forgotten' operas. [Königskinder - ed.]

10 October