Lohengrin stands as a pivotal work in the career of Richard Wagner. In terms of its structure and approach, it is usually grouped at the end of his early operas; at the same time, it demonstrates many of the ideas and techniques that would achieve full fruition in his later music dramas.
The story is set in Antwerp, in the tenth century, where Elsa, sister to the would-be duke, Gottfried, is accused of his murder. A mysterious figure arrives to defend her and even take her as his bride, but he commands her to not inquire about his name or his unknown provenance. A count, Telramund, and his sorcerer wife, Ortrud, are Elsa's accusers, and in fact, the real culprits in Gottfried's disappearance. They lay a series of intrigues to convince Elsa to ask her mysterious hero his identity, and in so doing, bring about a sad ending to the love story but an unexpectedly happy conclusion: the return of Gottfried.
The story is set in three acts - the libretto being written of course by Wagner himself, and this book contains an English version by Stewart Robb.