Press overview

Concertgebouworkest performs Wagner in concert version

26 August 2019

Daniel Harding conducts Act II of Tristan und Isolde

On Saturday, 31 August, the Concertgebouworkest will be performing Act II of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde with an all-star cast of vocal soloists – all under the direction of Daniel Harding. The title roles will be performed by tenor Stuart Skelton and soprano Christine Goerke. The other soloists are mezzo-soprano Claudia Mahnke (Brangäne), bass John Relyea (Marke), tenor Mark Omvlee (Melot) and baritone Stefan Astakhov (Kurwenal).

In recent years, the Concertgebouworkest gave several concert versions of Wagner operas. The performances of Der fliegende Holländer (in 2013), Lohengrin (2015) and Act III of Die Walküre received great public and critical acclaim.

A febrile romantic tragedy

Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde was a groundbreaking work which would exert great influence on future generations. This febrile romantic tragedy features all manner of innovations – in harmony, structure and orchestration. Act II is exceptional in that it is one of few acts in the operatic repertoire which can stand on its own in concert. The contrast between light and darkness is a central theme in the music. Particularly because of the famous Liebesnacht love duet, Act II is the emotional heart of the opera.