Header image of page : WAGNER / TRISTAN AND ISOLDE, ACT 2
Opera Concert


VFO – Gatti – Stemme – Skelton – Pape – von der Damerau
A romantic tragedy of love and death, Wagner’s Tristan & Isolde is brought to life by Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, alongside other revered soloists as Act 2 is performed with the VFO and conductor Daniele Gatti.

Tristan and Isolde, Act 2 in concert version

concert surtitled

Completed in 1859, Wagner’s operatic retelling of the Cornish legend Tristan and Isolde was described by George Bernard Shaw as “an astonishingly intense and faithful translation into music of the emotions which accompany the union of a pair of lovers”. Indeed, the revolutionary chromatic language Wagner developed for this musical translation was so very evocative that initially it was even deemed morally questionable; not least its famous ‘Tristan Chord’, consisting of a chromatic upwards slide into a non-resolving atonal harmonic scrunch. Strongly redolent of rapturous, unfulfilled sexual desires, this chord is highly prominent in Act II during the lovers’ duet, ‘O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe’ — sung just before their secret tryst is interrupted by Isolde’s betrothed, King Marke, leading to Tristan’s fatal stabbing.