November 26, 2020
A masterpiece generating “a dangerous fascination, a spine-tingling and blissful infinity” – thus Friedrich Nietzsche characterised Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde.
Created between 1857 and 1859 to his own libretto, the composer Richard Wagner was inspired by Gottfried von Strassburg’s epic Tristan und Isolt, based on a Celtic legend.
The State Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Just like Tristan, Richard Wagner too drank the elixir of love. During the time of his exile in Switzerland, he repaid the wealthy businessman Otto Wesendonck’s generous help (including financial support) not only by dedicating to him several works but also by enchanting his wife Mathilde. The ensuing affair, which certainly does not shed good light on Wagner’s character, resulted in a magnificent opera, Tristan und Isolde (as well as songs, in which Wagner set Mathilde’s poems and which are closely related to the Tristan atmosphere). Interest in premiering the opera was shown by the Hofoper in Vienna, which, despite over 70 rehearsals, ultimately proclaimed that Tristan und Isolde was unperformable. It was only after King Ludwig II of Bavaria became a sponsor of Wagner’s that enough resources could be put together to stage the opera. The world premiere finally took place on 10 June 1865 in Munich, conducted by Hans von Bülow.
The State Opera venue has hosted five productions of Tristan und Isolde – premiered on 1 September 1896, 31 March 1907, 9 March 1912 (under the baton of Alexander Zemlinsky), 21 June 1934 (all at the Neues deutsches Theater) and 20 May 2010 (State Opera Prague), in co-production with the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile. The new adaptation of Tristan und Isolde will be created by an international team: the German conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens, the current music director of the State Opera; the British stage director Keith Warner, who back in 2016 presented at the State Opera his account of Strauss’s Elektra; and the Slovak set designer Boris Kudlička, who has worked with the State Opera and the National Theatre Opera on a number of occasions.
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!
While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.