The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing Act II of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde in concert version with a dream-team all-star cast of vocal soloists – all under the direction of Daniel Harding.
Richard Wagner’s spellbinding world continues to captivate the imagination. His particular blend of fantasy, spirituality and tension persists in films and television series like Star Wars and Game of Thrones. His opera Tristan und Isolde – celebrated and innovative in equal measure – has been described as ‘the most erotic music ever composed’.
Wagner based the work on an ancient legend. Isolde is married off to an elderly king, yet his young nephew Tristan is her true love. Wagner depicts these tensions with spellbinding harmonies and questioning melodic lines. They evoke the atmosphere of perpetually postponed desire. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is performing the stirring second act, in which forbidden love is revealed through betrayal and Tristan falls on his sword. Isolde will follow him in death.