…drowning in the surging might,
of the world's life and breath…
At first, a simple chord in the prelude sets tonality trembling and opens the doors to night. Bidding farewell to dry land. Plunging into the unknown. Drowning. The song tears us away from ourselves and gives us a glimpse of both the past and the future. Everything is already contained in the first glance exchanged by the lovers.
During four hours of musical and mystical experience, Tristan and Isolde, Isolde and Tristan, will hate each other, love each other, separate, die and be reunited. In 1865, Richard Wagner - inspired by his passion for Mathilde Wesendonck - offered the world what was to become one of the monuments of Western art.
If tragedy is for kings, then Tristan und Isolde is a tragedy: there is Marke, there is the kingdom, there is war and there is the peace that is meant to be sealed by the marriage of the King of Cornwall to this Irish princess. Here, everything is public. Here, everything is political. The lovers are the playthings of issues beyond their control. Their choices, their actions affect the world and that is why the world stands in the way of their union. But this world can also be lost in a simple glance. This is where Wagner's radical gesture touches us: Tristan und Isolde tells us that a single moment has the power to call into question the construction of our lives.
Poet, director, future director of the Avignon Festival, Tiago Rodrigues likes to bring works down from their pedestal to share them with the public. His theatre unites in a breath the present of the stage with the ephemeral community of spectators. It takes the form of fragile and unusual rituals: performing an immense epic with two actors, having a handful of people learn the lines of a Shakespearean sonnet, bringing to the stage the prompter of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II in Lisbon.
With his creative partners - the dancers Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz - he takes up the myth of Tristan and Isolde and follows its movement through the ages - through transcriptions, rewritings, translations, misunderstandings, errors and wanderings. In his turn, he passes on the legend that he conjugates in the present, inscribing in the void these words that are bigger than our bodies.
Tristan und Isolde, opera in three acts
First performed at the Royal Bavarian Court Theatre in Munich on 10 June 1865
Opéra national de Lorraine
Opéra de Lille, Théâtre de Caen
Opéra national de Lorraine Orchestra
Opéra national de Lorraine Chorus
William Le Sage
José António Tenente
Alexander Robin Baker
Sofia Dias, Vítor Roriz
4h55 with 2 intermissions
€ 5 - 75
Performed in German, with French surtitles
All audiences from 11 years of age
15 minutes to get started
45 minutes before the start of the performance (free, on presentation of ticket)
The performance of January 29th offers a Sunday workshop. For more information, click here.