I enjpy Mozart's operas greatly,but it's too bad you don't like Wagner and Romantic opera in general. "Vulgar" is the last thing I would call Wagner's orchestral sound and music in general.
How about sumptuous, hugely colorful and filled with intricate counterpoint ?
Keep giving his music and other 19th century opera a chance.It might grow on you.
There's no use blaming Wagner's music for not being like Mozart's.Apples and oranges.
And by the way, Wagner admired Mozart's operas greatly,too.
Lohengrin--the perfect amalgam of the Italianate and Wagnerian styles. The best of both worlds.
It's no accident that the great Verdi tenor Placido Domingo made such a fantastic Lohengrin on an
apparently discontinued DVD from the Vienna State Opera. A stupendous performance with a magnificent cast. Get it if you can.
What serious influences of italian style do you see in it?
What influence? For a few, the soaring lines of Elsa's introductory aria, the thrilling choral singing, the passionate exchanges between Elsa and Lohengrin as they declare their love for each other and the tender, melodic handling of the wedding music. The short interlude immediately following the duet between Elsa and Ortrud is pure voluptuousness in the best romantic tradition. That's what my ears tell me; others may hear differently.
Ortrud's last aria when Lohengrin is about to leave and she reveals what she did has some orchestral moments that could be written by <tfu!> Rossini, but that's all "italian" that I hear. As for exchanges, I find Lohengrin (and all Wagner operas) to be much less dynamic in this matter, characters rarely exchange short phrases, there are more monologues coming one after another than real conversations.