Tristan And Isolde Wagner

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Richard Wagner - Tristan and Isolde, Complete Opera, WWV 90. Staatskapelle Dresden, Carlos Ludwig Kleiber. Deutsche Grammophon, 1982.Act I. Prelude http://yo.

Motive Index
This index is modeled after the Table of Motives in the appendix of Roger Scruton’s 2004 book entitled Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. He labels 63 different motives by number, arguing that the tradition of giving descriptive titles is moving out of practice. This annotated index follows Scruton’s numbering system, but includes the labels given to the individual motives by other Wagner scholars. These references, when notated, are listed in the bibliography. Because love and death are so intertwined in the German cultural tradition, it is interesting to note that multiple motives carry the same or similar labels, while other motives reveal seemingly contradictory labels.
Motive 1 - Yearning, Tender Feminine Query, Love Potion, Longing, Tristan, Confession of Love, Sorrow
Motive 2 - Isolde, Desire, Love, Magic, Yearning
Motive 3 - Hero, Tristan's Anguish
Motive 4 - Look Motive, Love Glance
Motive 5 - Melody of Love, Young Sailor's Song
Motive 6 - Love Potion
Motive 7 - Magic Casket, Variant of Longing Motive
Motives 8 and 9 - Death Potion (Motive 8 is Love Potion, 9 is Fate, Poison, Death)
Motive 10 - Deliverance By Death, Longing for Death
Motive 11 - Ocean, The Sea, Crossing
Motive 12 - Isolde's Anger, Rage
Motive 13 - Death Motive
Motive 14 - Kurwenal
Motive 15 - Hero's Call, Tristan's Price
Motive 16 - Wounded Tristan, Tantris
Motive 17 - Tristan's Honor, Tristan Appears before Isolde, Destiny, Morold's Vengeance
Motive 18 - Insolent Day, Day is the Enemy of Love
Motive 19 - Night, Dawn Motive
Motive 20 - Impatience, Isolde's Impatience
Motive 21 - Love's Demand, Isolde's Ardor
Motive 22 - Spiritual Ecstasy, Rapture
Motive 23 - Hunting Call, Horn Motive
Motive 24 - Impassioned Love, Frau Minne, Happiness
Motive 25 - The Summons
Motive 26 - Invocation of Night, Night of Love
Motive 27 - Death, the Liberator, The Agony of Death
Motive 28 - Night, the Revealer
Motive 29 - Eternal Rest, Happiness, Love's Peace, Felicity
Motive 30 - Song of Death, Love-Death, Infinity
Motive 31 - Isolde's Blissful Self-Abandon, Love's Transfiguration
Motive 32 - Marke, Marke's Grief
Motive 33 - Consternation, Marke
Motive 34 - Betrayal
Motive 35 - Miraculous Realm of The Night
Motive 36 - The Pain of Death, Solitude, Unforgotten
Motive 37 - Desolation, Deserted Sea
Motive 38 - Anguish, Isolde as Healer, Distress
Motive 39 - Mournful Pastoral Song, Plaintive Lay
Motive 40 - Kurwenal, Homeland
Motive 41 - Joy, Gratitude
Motive 42 - Love Curse, Malediction of the Draught
Motive 43 - Last Consolation
Motive 44 - Impatience, Demanding to See Once Again
Motive 45 - Merry Lay, Joyous Lay
Motive 46 - Shared Death, Companionship in Death

This production ran: Jan 1 - Dec 31

Richard Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra). “ Tristan und Isolde ” by Richard Wagner libretto (English German). Tristan and Isolde, Tristan also called Tristram or Tristrem, Isolde also called Iseult, Isolt, or Yseult, principal characters of a famous medieval love-romance, based on a Celtic legend (itself based on an actual Pictish king).


Following her blazing performances as Brünnhilde in the Met’s Ring cycle in 2019, Christine Goerke scales another of Wagner’s soprano peaks, starring opposite heroic tenor Stuart Skelton in Mariusz Treliński’s intriguing staging of one of the greatest love stories ever told. Hartmut Haenchen makes his Met debut conducting an all-star supporting cast of Wagnerians, including bass Günther Groissböck as King Marke, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova as Isolde’s attendant Brangäne, and bass-baritone Greer Grimsley as Kurwenal, Tristan’s loyal servant.

Co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, Festival Hall Baden-Baden, Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera, and China National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Beijing

Production a gift of the Estates of Alan and Ruth Broder

Additional funding from Marina Kellen French and the Gramma Fisher Foundation, Marshalltown, Iowa

This production ran: Jan 1 - Dec 31

This production is in the past.


Languages sung in Tristan und Isolde


Title languages displayed for Tristan und Isolde

Met Titles In

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish


Timeline for the show, Tristan und Isolde

Estimated Run Time

4 hrs 46 mins

  • House Opens

  • Act I

    81 mins

  • Intermission

    34 mins

  • Act II

    63 mins

  • Intermission

    32 mins

  • Act III

    76 mins

  • Opera Ends


World premiere: Munich Court Theater, 1865. Wagner’s breathtaking meditation on love and death holds a unique place in the opera world. Its music has astounded, infuriated, and inspired audiences since it was first heard, and the title roles are acknowledged as among the most extraordinarily demanding in opera. The vocal challenges, the sumptuous symphonic scale of the orchestral writing, and the mystical nature of the story, with its opportunities for creative visual design, make this awe-inspiring work a phenomenon of the repertory.


Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was the controversial creator of music-drama masterpieces that stand at the center of today’s operatic repertory. An artistic revolutionary who reimagined every supposition about theater, Wagner insisted that words and music were equals in his works. This approach led to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” combining music, poetry, architecture, painting, and other disciplines, a notion that has had an impact on creative fields far beyond opera.


Boris Kudlička


Marc Heinz


Bartek Macias


Richard Wagner


The three acts of the opera are originally set, respectively, aboard a ship on the Irish Sea, in Cornwall (southwestern Britain), and in Brittany (northwestern France). The many versions of this story all pay homage to the Celtic ambience and probable origin of the tale. Wagner’s preservation of this context emphasizes several key themes associated with ancient Celtic culture: mysticism, knowledge of the magic arts, an evolved warrior code, and a distinctly non-Christian vision of the possibilities of the afterlife.


Tristan and isolde wagner synopsis

Tristan And Isolde Wagner Erster

Volumes have been written about the influential score of Tristan und Isolde. The music is built on the idea of a great yearning, irresistible and self-perpetuating, that cannot be fulfilled in this life. The prelude sweeps the listener into an ecstatic yet tortuous world of longing, and the vocal parts are of unique stature. The opera culminates in Isolde’s famous final aria, “Mild und leise,” with a final octave leap that concludes this unique musical-dramatic journey.

Tristan And Isolde Wagner Youtube