Das Liebesverbot


Wagner Das Liebesverbot opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2016 by Kasper Holten at the Teatro Real. Stars Manuela Uhl (Isabella), Christopher Maltman (Friedrich), Peter Lodahl (Lucio), Ilker Arcayürek (Claudio), David Alegret (Antonio), David Jerusalem (Angelo), María Miró (Mariana), Ante Jerkunica (Brighella), Isaac Galán (Danieli), María Hinojosa (Dorella), and Francisco Vas (Pontio Pilato). Ivor Bolton conducts the Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Real (Chorus Master Andrés Máspero). Sets and costumes by Steffen Aarfing; choreography by Signe Fabricius; video design by Luke Halls; lighting by Bruno Poet. Directed for the screen by János Darvas. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

This is an early comedy the name of which might be translated into English as "The Ban on Love" or "The Proscription of Love." It was composed by Wagner at age 21 (who wrote his own libretto based on the Shakespeare play Measure for Measure). It was performed twice during Wagner's life, once with 3 persons in the audience.

It's a comedy, but Mike Ashman, writing in the April 2017 Gramophone at page 116, says the slapstick lust for jokes in the production is overdone and takes away a "dimension" from the show. And Fred Cohn on pages 50-51 of the July 2017 Opera News savages Uhl, Maltman, and Arcayürek for being "uniformly awful." Don't expect too much from this curiosity item, but it's probably a must-have for sincere fans of Wagner. 

Here are two video clips (with 3 languages all mixed up) from Teatro Real (images here may not be exactly the same as in the Opus Arte recording). Angela Merkel appears with the kind permission of the Federal Republic of Germany: