International forum The nobility and tragedy of Lohengrin – a knight of truth and good (mythological and philosophical topos)

Mirror Hall of Lviv National Opera

March 2-3, 2019

The program of Lviv National Opera, “Ukrainian Breakthrough”, provides for cultural platforms dedicated to contemporary tendencies in the development of opera art, designed to create an environment for professional discussion, and to promote opera art among the appreciative audience.

International forum “The nobility and tragedy of Lohengrin – a knight of truth and good (mythological and philosophical topos)” is dedicated to the long-awaited return of Wagner to Lviv and, ultimately, Ukrainian theatres. I am convinced that the communication of musicologists from Austria, Poland and Ukraine, supplemented with the speeches of “Lohengrin”producers, will serve as an important discussion platform for the promotion of Wagner in Ukraine.

Vasyl Vovkun

General Manager – Artistic Director of Lviv National Opera

The task of the forum, which is closely connected to the premiere of the opera “Lohengrin” of R. Wagner at Lviv National Opera, is to introduce this symbolic plot into the particular historical epoch, the epoch of the creation of the opera and the development of its further meanings.

It seems important to compare views of various scholars-traditionalists, i.e.  Austrian and German musicologists, on one side and Slavic scholars on the other, on the iconic artefacts of the world culture, since the first performances of “Lohengrin” were given in Lviv at Count Skarbek Theater.

The tradition of different productions of the opera “Lohengrin” in the history of Ukrainian and, in particular, of  Lviv treaters is of special importance.

Forum Agenda

March 2, 2019, Saturday

10.00 – Opening of the forum. Greeting speeches

10.15 – Panel discussion №1.

Introducing the symbolic plot of the opera “Lohengrin” in the particular historical epoch of the creation of the opera and the development of its further meanings

Moderator – Liubov Kiianovska

Richard Schmitz, opera editor of the “Classic Stefansdom” radio station (Vienna, Austria).

Liubov Kyianovska, Doctor of Arts, Professor, Head of the Department of Music History of Lviv National Music Academy named after M. Lysenko (Lviv, Ukraine)

“The Myth about Lohengrin and the Archetype of the Knight-Defender in Slavic Cultures”:

The romantic epoch updated the medieval myth about the knight, which is reinterpreted in different national cultures according to the specific traditions and ideological priorities. Wagner’s Lohengrin is essentially a non-historical figure, deprived of specific personal characteristics, but in Slavic cultures the ideal knight is always set in a certain historical context, and therefore the musical means of his narration are created in another semantic field.

Olena Roshchenko, Doctor of Arts, Professor, Head of the Department of Theory and Music History of Kharkiv State Academy of Culture (Kharkiv, Ukraine)

“Symbols of Monsalvat and Valhalla in the music drama of R. Wagner” Lohengrin “:

The report deals with the consideration of the concept formation of the opera myth in the aspect of Christian and pagan worlds contrast in the formation of the music drama “Lohengrin”. The sound and verbal symbols which generalize the imaginary worlds of Monsalvat and Valhalla are considered as an expression of new and non-new development of the sacred action of the Wagner’s opera.

Anna Novak, Full Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Composition, Music Theory and Sound Engineering of the Bydgoszcz Music Academy – “Feliks Nowowiejski” (Bydgoszcz, Poland).

“Music representation of the world in the opera” Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner“:

Opera “Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner is one of the most prominent works of the romantic epoch and has many interpretations – both musical and ideological. The author’s interpretation of the music meanings of the opera refers to contemporary semiotic categories of science, such as “representation”, “symbol”, “topos”, and others. Their usage allows to reveal the context of the opera, projected onto external real objects, and thus to reveal the deep meaning of the music expressions used by the composer.

12.15-12.30 – break

12.30 – panel discussion №2.

The interpretation of the image of the hero Lohengrin in the modern European space.

Moderator – Maryna Cherkashyna-Hubarenko

Maryna Cherkashyna-Hubarenko, Doctor of Arts, Professor of the Department of World Music History of the National Music Academy of Ukraine named after P. I. Tchaikovsky, Associate Member of the Academy of Arts of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine)

“Archetypes of the Saviour and his personifications in modern productions of the opera” Lohengrin “»

Malgorzata Komorovska, Full Professor, professor (retired) of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (Warsaw, Poland)

“Polish singers in the opera “Lohengrin”. From Aleksandr Bandrowsky to Piotr Beczala»:

Wagner tradition of the pre-war period in Lviv and Warsaw. Post-war premieres of “Lohengrin” in Warsaw, Poznan, Łódź; photos of actors from the collection of Juliusz Multazynsky.

Grazyna Flicinska-Panfil, Full Professor, Head of the Vocal Department of the Vocal and Actor Faculty of Poznań Academy of Music (Poznan, Poland)

Topos of Lohengrin and Poznan premieres of the opera “Lohengrin” by Richard Wagner during 110 years of the theater history”:

Richard Wagner, the great reformer of the theater music of the 19th century, presented  the story of the legendary Lohengrin, the knight of the Holy Grail in 1848. And owing to the composer, the story of Lohengrin is so well known.  Poznan Grand Theater, which was founded in 1909 and became a Polish theater in 1919, had three premieres of “Lohengrin” by Wagner- on June 9th, 1923, November 21st, 1936, and December 17th, 1978.

15.00 – concert of the pianist Yevhen Hromov “Wilhelm Richard Wagner”


March 3, 2019, Sunday

12.00 – panel discussion № 3.

“Lohengrin”: history and traditions of Lviv productions

Moderator – Liliia Nazar-Shevchuk

Teresa Mazepa, Doctor of Arts, Adjunct of the Faculty of Music of Rzeszow University (Poland), associate professor of the Department of Choral, Opera and Symphonic Conducting of Lviv National Music Academy named after M.Lysenko

“Historical origins of the productions of the opera “Lohengrin” by R. Wagner in Lviv”.

One of the most famous opera of R. Wagner – “Lohengrin” was premiered in Lviv in 1877. Since then, an enduring tradition of music dramas of the “Bayreuth genius” has started in the capital of Galicia. Wagner’s music was so popular in the city that its performance was not limited to the opera new, but also it became a permanent position in the concert repertoire. Since its first production, “Lohengrin” has firmly entered the opera repertoire of Lviv theater, becoming kind of a “hit”, since it enjoyed the greatest success with the audience and was shown most often.  “Lohengrin” is one of Wagner’s operas which was included  into the repertoire of the City Theater until 1939.

Lilia Nazar-Shevchuk, PhD in Arts, Associate Professor of the Department of Music History of Lviv National Music Academy named after M. Lysenko (Lviv, Ukraine)

“Toponomy of the multiple resonance of Lviv production of “Lohengrin” by R. Wagner”:

Being newd in Lviv Opera for more than 70 years, opera “Lohengrin” has gathered powerful cast during its new life, measuring it in quantitative and qualitative dimensions, showing the multiplicity of parameters and the broad geocultural amplitude of multilevel nature. The following vectors have been considered: guest tours of Lviv Opera company (shows in European cities); the specificity of the sharing of conducting experience; performances of Lviv soloists in “Lohengrin” at world theatres; European critique; adaptation of R. Wagner’s music principles, the ideas of “Lohengrin” in the works of Galician composers S. Liudkevych and V. Barvinskyi.

Stefaniia Oliinyk, PhD in Arts, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Music History and Department of Composition of Lviv National Music Academy named after M. Lysenko (Lviv, Ukraine)

“Wagner on the pages of Lviv editions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries“:

The production of Richard Wagner’s music dramas at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century and the considerable interest of local residents in the work of the composer, inspired writing and publishing of musicological and journalistic texts dedicated to the composer and his works. The report illustrates the source base of “Lviv Wagneriana”, which can be described in several directions: translations of the  opera librettos and composer’s works; articles and reviews in Lviv press; music studies and monographs about the composer.

14.00-15.00 – break, Theatre tour for participants and forum guests

15.00 – Panel discussion №4.

Lviv National Opera and new production of “Lohengrin”: interpretation plurality 

Moderator – Adelina Yefimenko

Adelina Yefimenko, Doctor of Arts, Professor of the Department of Music History of Lviv National Music Academy named after M. Lysenko and Ukrainian Free University (Munich, Germany).

Lohengrin as politically condemned: modern interpretations of the myth about Lohengrin”

The purpose of new social and critical interpretations of the opera “Lohengrin” by R. Wagner is demythologization of the image of Lohengrin. In these studies the “political” counterpoint of the image of Lohengrin and different director’s’ readings have been analyzed.

Michael Sturm, director, playwright and writer (Germany). Director of the opera “Lohengrin” by R. Wagner.

Myron Yusypovych, conductor of Lviv National Opera, Honoured Artist of Ukraine. Conductor of the opera “Lohengrin” by R. Wagner.

16.15 – closing meeting