Richard Wagner (1813—1883)

Opera in three acts
Libretto by Richard Wagner
First performed: 10th June 1865 at the Royal Theatre of the Court of Bavaria in Munich

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle
Stage Director Simon Stone
Stage Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Mel Page
Lighting Designer James Farncombe
Tristan Stuart Skelton
Isolde Nina Stemme
König Marke Franz-Josef Selig
Kurwenal Josef Wagner
Melot Dominic Sedgwick
Brangäne Jamie Barton
Ein Hirt / Stimme eines jungen Seemanns Linard Vrielink
Ein SteuermannIvan Thirion*

Chorus Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Orchestra London Symphony Orchestra

*former artist of the Académie

New production of the Festival d'Aix'-en-Provence
A coproduction with Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg


"I liked Tristan best of all. Oh, how I loved Tristan, with his night and the interminable death rattle in his throat." Paul Claudel, in a letter from 1907.

Honour called for a death potion; the subconscious responded with a love potion. And forbidden passion, repressed for so long, suddenly burst into the light, shattering all the barriers. Uncontrollable desire has never been expressed as powerfully as by Wagner in "Tristan und Isolde", the most absolute representation of love-as-passion in the West. But is this perpetual devouring, which is as painful as it is orgasmic, a form of mystic knowledge or a dangerous illusion? For this sacred pair of lovers, dissolution into the eternal night seems like the only possible way out. Wagner feared that his opera would drive people insane; but for audience members immersed in the endless melody until the final climax, "Tristan und Isolde" offers a unique experience. And to do the smouldering content and the purity of the form justice, it takes the infinite talent of Sir Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony Orchestra; Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, the legendary artists in the title roles; and Simon Stone, the ideal director to reveal what a black sun signifies to today’s audience.


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