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24 August 2022 (Wed), 19:00 Moscow theatre "New Opera" - Opera Richard Wagner "Tristan und Isolde" Music drama in three acts

Running time: 4 hours 40 minutes.
The performance has 2 intermissions

Schedule for Richard Wagner "Tristan und Isolde" Music drama in three acts 2022

Composer: Richard Wagner
Conductor: Jan Latham-Koenig
Choirmaster producer: Yulia Senyukova

Orchestra: Symphony Orchestra of the "New Opera" Theatre

Performed in German

World premiere: 10 June 1865, Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater, Munich
Premiere in Russia: 13 March 1898 Mariinsky Theatre, Petersburg
Premiere of this production: 19 May 2013

Tristan and Isolde (in German Tristan und Isolde) is an opera in 3 acts by the composer Richard Wagner. First performed in 1865, Tristan and Isolde is one of Wagner’s best loved operas. Based on a medieval legend, it’s a romantic tragedy of love and death, told through sublime music.

Tristan und Isolde
Music drama in three acts
For the 200th Birth Anniversary of Richard Wagner
Music Director and Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig
Stage Director Nicola Raab
Set and Costume Designer George Souglides
Lighting Designer Aivar Salikhov
Choirmaster Yulia Senyukova

Tristan und Isolde is one of the most poignant operas composed by Wagner. He was passionately in love with Mathilde Wesendonck, his friend and patron's wife, who shared the composer's feelings but remained faithful to her husband and family. That is why Wagner called his Tristan a monument to profound and undivided love.

The plot is based on the story of two lovers described in chivalric romances of the 12th century. Princess Isolde meets the wounded knight Tristan, who has killed her fiancЁ¦ in a duel. She yearns for vengeance, but overwhelmed with sympathy for the knight, she cures his wounds and falls in love with him. But she is promised in marriage to Tristan's uncle, King Marke, and Tristan is to take her to the King's castle. The outraged Isolde drinks together with the knight the poisonous concoction she has prepared. But the drink does not bring death, as it is in fact a love potion, and the young people fell in love with each other. When they finally reach the King's castle, Tristan can no longer hide his feelings for Isolde and they secretly date. King Marke and his retinue witness one of their meetings. Furious with what he has seen, Melot, a knight who is secretly in love with Isolde himself, challenges Tristan to a fight and wounds him. Mortally wounded, Tristan sails in a boat to his native land. Isolde follows him, but it is too late. Tristan dies. Unable to endure her sufferings, Isolde dies too.
The music drama Tristan und Isolde is a powerful hymn of love. The passionate feelings of the characters, their sufferings and losses are reflected in the composer's brilliant score. This opera reveals Wagner's unique harmonic style to the utmost; his famous Tristan chord has become the symbol of the late Romanticism harmony. Some excerpts of the opera, including the Introduction to Act 1, Tristan and Isolde's love duet and Isolde's Death are the gems of the composer's legacy.
The scenic design of the Novaya Opera's new production is based on the sketches made by Alfred Roller in 1902 for the legendary production of the opera staged and conducted by Gustav Mahler. In homage to the great artist, Roller's sketches will be used in some elements of the original sets designed by George Souglides (UK).
The concept of the production will be presented by Nicola Raab (Germany). In her opinion, Wagner's operas demand a lot of effort; they are not easy either for a producer or for an audience. Wagner is a composer who tries to resolve the most difficult problems of Man and society. He looks for ways to salvation through very complicated circumstances and representation of the characters.
The podium will be taken by Novaya Opera Chief Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig, a connoisseur and brilliant interpret of Wagnerian music.


Tristan und Isolde (Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda, or Tristran and Ysolt) is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work, not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung" (literally a drama, a plot or an action), which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas. Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde was inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (particularly The World as Will and Representation), as well as by Wagner's affair with Mathilde Wesendonck. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertoire, Tristan was notable for Wagner's unprecedented use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral colour and harmonic suspension. The opera was enormously influential among Western classical composers and provided direct inspiration to composers such as Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Karol Szymanowski, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Benjamin Britten. Other composers like Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Igor Stravinsky formulated their styles in contrast to Wagner's musical legacy. Many see Tristan as the beginning of the move away from common practice harmony and tonality and consider that it lays the groundwork for the direction of classical music in the 20th century. Both Wagner's libretto style and music were also profoundly influential on the symbolist poets of the late 19th century and early 20th century.



Isolde, an Irish princess, is being taken to Cornwall aboard the ship of Tristan, whose uncle, King Marke, plans to marry her. She becomes enraged by a sailor’s song about an Irish girl, and her maid, Brangäne, tries to calm her. Isolde interrogates Tristan, but he replies evasively. His companion Kurwenal loudly ridicules the Irish women and sings a mocking verse about Morold, Isolde’s fiancé, who was killed by Tristan when he came to Cornwall to exact tribute for Ireland. Isolde, barely able to control her anger, tells Brangäne how the wounded Tristan came to her in disguise after his fight with Morold so that he could be healed by Isolde’s knowledge of herbs and magic, which she learned from her mother. Isolde explains to Brangäne that she recognized Tristan, but her determination to take revenge for Morold’s death dissolved when he pleadingly looked her in the eyes. She now bitterly regrets her reluctance to kill him and wishes death for him and herself. Brangäne reminds her that to marry a king is no dishonor and that Tristan is simply performing his duty. Isolde maintains that his behavior shows his lack of love for her, and asks Brangäne to prepare her mother’s death potion. Kurwenal tells the women to prepare to leave the ship, as shouts from the deck announce the sighting of land. Isolde insists that she will not accompany Tristan until he apologizes for his offenses. He appears and greets her with cool courtesy. When she tells him she wants satisfaction for Morold’s death, Tristan offers her his sword, but she will not kill him. Instead, Isolde suggests that she and Tristan make peace with a drink of friendship. He understands that she means to poison them both, but still drinks, and she does the same. Expecting death, they exchange a long look of love, then fall into each other’s arms. Brangäne admits that she has in fact mixed a love potion, as sailors’ voices announce the ship’s arrival in Cornwall.



In the garden of Marke’s castle, Isolde waits impatiently for a rendezvous with Tristan, while distant horns signal the king’s departure on a hunting party. Isolde believes that the party is far off, but Brangäne warns her about spies, particularly Melot, a jealous knight whom she has noticed watching Tristan. Isolde replies that Melot is Tristan’s friend. She sends Brangäne off to stand watch and puts out the warning torch. When Tristan appears, she welcomes him passionately. They praise the darkness that shuts out the light of conventionality and false appearances and agree that they feel secure in the night’s embrace. Brangäne’s distant voice warns that it will be daylight soon, but the lovers are oblivious to any danger and compare the night to death, which will ultimately unite them. Kurwenal rushes in with a warning: the king and his followers have returned, led by Melot, who denounces the lovers. Moved and disturbed, Marke declares that it was Tristan himself who urged him to marry and choose the bride. He does not understand how someone so dear to him could dishonor him in such a way. Tristan cannot answer. He asks Isolde if she will follow him into the realm of death. When she accepts, Melot attacks Tristan, who falls wounded into Kurwenal’s arms.



Back at his castle, the mortally ill Tristan is tended by Kurwenal. A shepherd inquires about his master, and Kurwenal explains that only Isolde, with her magic arts, could save him. The shepherd agrees to play a cheerful tune on his pipe as soon as he sees a ship approaching. Hallucinating, Tristan imagines the realm of night where he will return with Isolde. He thanks Kurwenal for his devotion, then envisions Isolde’s ship approaching, but the shepherd’s mournful tune signals that the sea is still empty. Tristan recalls the melody, which he heard as a child. It reminds him of the duel with Morold, and he wishes Isolde’s medicine had killed him then instead of making him suffer now. The shepherd’s tune finally turns cheerful. Tristan gets up from his sickbed in growing agitation and tears off his bandages, letting his wounds bleed. Isolde rushes in, and he falls, dying, in her arms. When the shepherd announces the arrival of another ship, Kurwenal assumes it carries Marke and Melot, and barricades the gate. Brangäne’s voice is heard from outside, trying to calm Kurwenal, but he will not listen and stabs Melot before he is killed himself by the king’s soldiers. Marke is overwhelmed with grief at the sight of the dead Tristan, while Brangäne explains to Isolde that the king has come to pardon the lovers. Isolde, transfigured, does not hear her, and with a vision of Tristan beckoning her to the world beyond, she sinks dying upon his body.

Schedule for Richard Wagner "Tristan und Isolde" Music drama in three acts 2022

Richard Wagner "Tristan und Isolde" (Music drama in three acts) - Novaya Opera
About This Video
Tristan und Isolde is one of the most poignant operas composed by Wagner. He was passionately in love with Mathilde Wesendonck, his friend and patron's wife, who shared the composer's feelings but remained faithful to her husband and family. That is why Wagner called his Tristan a monument to profound and undivided love.

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