Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tristan und Isolde

Tristan und Isolde at the Met HD last week was fantastic (if you ignore that Tristan's physique wasn't the sexiest or that they were wearing drab cold-war-on-the-Russian-side clothes). First of all, it's a beautiful opera, with powerful, melodic music. The singers were top notch: Nina Stemme, Stuart Skelton and René Pape in the main roles. The conductor was Simon Rattle. The production was interesting, with atmospheric radar and sea projections. How can a radar projection be atmospheric? I know, I know. But when it matches the music at the start of the opera, it just carried me into its own world. But it's really all about the music. If you can't bear to listen to 4 hours of Wagner, listen only to the overture, and to the very last piece, the Liebestod.

OK, I'm going to make it easy for you:

And here is the trailer from the Met HD production:

And was I the only one to see the cinematographic references? Definitely Apocalypse Now (the dark, the fans, the ship, the soldiers) and Melancholia (interesting boomerang homage, well at least that's how I interpreted what looked like a planet hurtling dangerously close to the camera, plus the little boy lying on the ground, and the sparks in the air). And probably plenty more that were lost on me.

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