http://seenandheard-international.com, 14. April 2014
Lohengrin returned to Teatro Real after nine years of absence, and it has really been a tribute to Gerard Mortier. The overall result was positive, with an excellent musical version and a new stage production that is more traditional than usual lately in this house, but a somewhat irregular cast.
Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to attend excellent performances of Lohengrin under exceptional conductors, and what we got in this respect from Hartmut Haenchen could be among the best I have experienced. His reading was brilliant, intense and inspired, and always supportive of the singers. There was tension and good rhythm, and his reading was among the fastest in recent years. In fact, it was a little quicker than Andris Nelsons’s in Bayreuth and almost fourteen minutes shorter than what Sebastian Weigle offered at Liceu during the visit of Bayreuth to Barcelona last season. The following day we had Walter Althammer, who had been Mr. Haenchen’s assistant during rehearsals, in the pit. Mr. Althammer followed the path of Mr. Haenchen, with slightly lower tempi, in an overall sound reading.
There’s no question that Gerard Mortier has left an important musical legacy at Teatro Real, namely the dramatic improvement in both orchestra and chorus. If any further evidence were needed, this Lohengrin can be considered as definitive: it was a magnificent performance from the orchestra, and it would be difficult to improve upon what the chorus offered. ...
José Mª. Irurzun