1
of

Tristan and Isolde

Thursday April 18, 2013 - Sunday May 5, 2013

Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center  



Overview

 


Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde
Sung in German with projected English translation

Apr. 18, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. | Apr. 21, 2013 - 2 p.m. | Apr. 24, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 27, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. | May 2, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. | May 5, 2013 - 2 p.m.

The power of fate. Legendary romance. Romantic betrayal. A matchless work of art, Tristan and Isolde speaks to timeless themes: the inevitability of fate, omnipresent death, and salvation through transcendent love. Tristan has entranced audiences with its mythical power and majestic music since its Munich premiere in 1865. HGO's spectacular new production provides a fitting welcome for the company debuts of Nina Stemme and Ben Heppner in the title roles.

A co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 
Photo credit: ROH Covent Garden. © Bill Cooper

Premier Guarantor: Houston Grand Opera Endowment, Inc.
Guarantors: Janice and Tom Barrow; Mr. John G. Turner and Mr. Jerry G. Fischer
Grand Guarantor: Beth Madison

Synopsis

Before the Opera Begins

Tristan has left his ancestral home to serve his uncle, King Marke of Cornwall, who, childless, has made him heir to the throne. Cornwall has been forced to pay an annual tribute to the Irish king. When the Irish king's emissary, Marold, comes to claim the tribute, Tristan kills him, but in the battle he is badly wounded by Marold. It is soon discovered that Marold's sword was poisoned and Tristan's wound will not heal. The young man is set adrift in a boat that reaches Ireland, where he is discovered and nursed by the Irish princess Isolde, who had been Marold's fiancée. Tristan tries to conceal his identity, but Isolde recognizes him as her lover's slayer. She picks up the sword to avenge Marold's death but is unable to do so when Tristan gazes into her eyes. Tristan swears his gratitude and returns to Cornwall, where King Marke is being politically pressured to take a wife and produce an heir other than Tristan. Tristan offers to go back to Ireland to win Isolde's hand—not for himself, but for his uncle.

Act I

Tristan is escorting Isolde against her will to Cornwall, where she is to marry the king. On the long voyage, Isolde despairs at the prospect of a loveless marriage. Furious at Tristan for relinquishing her to another man, Isolde sends her lady-in-waiting, Brangäne, to fetch him. Tristan declines, and Isolde berates herself for not exacting revenge when she had the chance. She insists that Brangäne prepare a death potion so she and Tristan may drink it before reaching Cornwall. Just as they are nearing the shores, Tristan finally comes to Isolde. She asks him to share a drink with her, to “peace and reconciliation.” Tristan begins to drink the potion prepared by Brangäne; Isolde takes it from him and finishes it. But Brangäne has substituted a love philter for the death potion. Tristan and Isolde gaze at each other for a moment, then abandon themselves to the love they have so long concealed. They confess their love, oblivious to all else as the ship reaches the shore and King Marke approaches.

Act II

Tristan's friend Melot has planned a night hunt to keep the King occupied and give the lovers a chance to meet secretly. Brangäne suspects treachery and warns her mistress not to trust Melot, but Isolde impatiently gives the designated signal and Tristan rushes into her arms. They curse the day and invoke the night, utterly lost in each other. As daybreak approaches, Brangane warns the lovers to no avail. The King, led by Melot, arrives and discovers them. Marke sorrowfully reproaches his nephew, but not harshly enough to satisfy the vengeful Melot, who attacks Tristan. Tristan refuses to defend himself and is gravely wounded. 

Act III

Kurwenal has brought his master to his ancestral home to recover, and has sent for Isolde. Finally the shepherd's pipe announces Isolde's arrival. Tristan, in an ecstatic delirium, tears open his wounds and falls dying into her arms. A second ship carrying King Marke and his retinue arrives. In fear and confusion, Tristan's servant Kurwenal kills Melot and in the ensuing melee is himself killed. But Marke (Brangäne having told him about the potion) has come not to avenge but to pardon; in fact, he has come to arrange the lovers' marriage. It is too late. Enraptured, Isolde releases her life, embracing death as the perfect union.

 


Sinópsis

 

Antes de comenzar la ópera

Tristán ha abandonado su hogar ancestral para servir a su tío Marke, rey de Cornualles, quien al no haber tenido nunca hijos, lo ha nombrado heredero al trono. Cornualles ha sido forzada a pagar un tributo anual al rey de Irlanda. Cuando Morold, el emisario del rey de Irlanda viene a cobrar el tributo, Tristán lo asesina, pero en la batalla es herido gravemente por Morold. Después se descubre que la espada de Morold estaba envenenada y la herida de Tristán no puede sanar. El joven es mandado a la deriva en una barca que llega hasta Irlanda, donde es encontrado y cuidado por Isolda, quien era la prometida de Morold. Tristán intenta ocultar su identidad, pero Isolda lo reconoce como el verdugo de su amante. Ella toma la espada para vengar la muerte de Morold pero se ve incapacitada de hacerlo cuando Tirstán la mira a los ojos. Tristán le jura su gratitud eterna y regresa a Cornualles donde el rey está recibiendo la presión política para contraer matrimonio y producir un heredero aparte de Tristán. Tristán se ofrece para regresar a Irlanda y pedir la mano de Isolda. No para él, sino para su tío.

ACTO 1

Tristán escolta a Isolda hasta Cornualles, contra su voluntad, en donde deberá casarse con el rey. En el largo viaje, Isolda se desespera ante la idea de tener un matrimonio sin amor. Furiosa con Tristán por abandonarla y mandarla a los brazos de otro hombre, Isolda manda a Brangäne, su dama de compañía, a buscarlo. Tristán se niega e Isolda se reprocha a si misma por no haber realizado su venganza cuando tuvo la oportunidad. Le pide a Brangäne que prepare una poción fatal para que ella y Tristán la puedan tomar antes de llegar a Cornualles. Al irse acercando a tierra, Tristán finalmente viene a ver a Isolda. Ella le ofrece algo de beber, en nombre de la "salud y la reconciliación". Tristán comienza a beber la poción preparada por Brangäne. Isolda le arrebata la bebida y la termina de beber, pero Brangäne ha sustituído una poción de amor en lugar de la de la muerte. Tristán e Isolda se miran el uno al otro por un momento y se abandonan al amor que han ocultado por tanto tiempo. Se confiesan su amor olvidando todo lo demás, mientras el barco se acerca a las orillas del mar y el Rey Marke se acerca. 

ACTO II

El amigo de Tristán, Melot, ha planeado una caza nocturna para mantener al rey ocupado y darle a los amantes una oportunidad de encontrarse en secreto. Brangäne sospecha de traición y le aconseja a Isolda no confiar en Melot, pero Isolda da su señal impaciente y Tristán se precipita a llegar a sus brazos. Juntos maldicen al día e invocan a la noche perdidos el uno en el otro. Al llegar el amanecer, Brangäne les avisa a los amantes sin resultado alguno. El rey, guiado por Melot, se presenta y los descubre. Marke, lleno de dolor le reprocha a su sobrino, pero no tan duramente como el vengativo de Melot hubiera querido y este mismo ataca a Tristán. Tristán se rehúsa a defenderse y es gravemente herido.

ACTO III

Kurwenal ha traído a su amo hasta su hogar para recuperarse y ha llamado a Isolda. Finalmente, la flauta del pastor anuncia la llegada de Isolda. Tristán, en un delirio estático, se abre sus heridas y cae moribundo en sus brazos. Un segundo embarque llega con el rey Marke y su séquito. En medio del miedo y la confusión, Kurwenal el siervo de Tristán, mata a Melot y cuerpo a cuerpo es también asesinado. Pero Marke (a quien Brangäne le había contado sobre la poción) ha venido no a vengarse, sino a perdonar. De hecho, a venido a arreglar el matrimonio de los amantes. Pero es demasiado tarde. Embelesada, Isolda se quita la vida, aceptando a la muerte como la perfecta unión.

Cast/Creative Team

Cast

Nina Stemme*
Isolde

Ben Heppner*
Tristan

Claudia Mahnke*
Brangaene

Ryan McKinny***
Kurwenal

Christof Fischesser*
King Marke

Creative Team

Patrick Summers
Conductor

Christof Loy*
Director

Johannes Leiacker*
Set and Costume Designer

Olaf Winter*
Lighting Designer

Richard Bado***
Chorus Master

Houston Grand Opera
Orchestra
Chorus


* HGO debut
** HGO Studio Artist
*** Former HGO Studio Artist

Support HGO

Donate Now Button on Support HGO 

To give by phone or for more information, contact Rebecca Kier at 713-546-0252 or rkier@houstongrandopera.org.

To submit your gift by mail, please use this form.

Loyal donors are behind each performance at Houston Grand Opera.
We can’t do it without you; please consider making a gift today!

Donate Now  

 


Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde
Sung in German with projected English translation

Apr. 18, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. | Apr. 21, 2013 - 2 p.m. | Apr. 24, 2013 - 6:30 p.m.
Apr. 27, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. | May 2, 2013 - 6:30 p.m. | May 5, 2013 - 2 p.m.

The power of fate. Legendary romance. Romantic betrayal. A matchless work of art, Tristan and Isolde speaks to timeless themes: the inevitability of fate, omnipresent death, and salvation through transcendent love. Tristan has entranced audiences with its mythical power and majestic music since its Munich premiere in 1865. HGO's spectacular new production provides a fitting welcome for the company debuts of Nina Stemme and Ben Heppner in the title roles.

A co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 
Photo credit: ROH Covent Garden. © Bill Cooper

Premier Guarantor: Houston Grand Opera Endowment, Inc.
Guarantors: Janice and Tom Barrow; Mr. John G. Turner and Mr. Jerry G. Fischer
Grand Guarantor: Beth Madison

Before the Opera Begins

Tristan has left his ancestral home to serve his uncle, King Marke of Cornwall, who, childless, has made him heir to the throne. Cornwall has been forced to pay an annual tribute to the Irish king. When the Irish king's emissary, Marold, comes to claim the tribute, Tristan kills him, but in the battle he is badly wounded by Marold. It is soon discovered that Marold's sword was poisoned and Tristan's wound will not heal. The young man is set adrift in a boat that reaches Ireland, where he is discovered and nursed by the Irish princess Isolde, who had been Marold's fiancée. Tristan tries to conceal his identity, but Isolde recognizes him as her lover's slayer. She picks up the sword to avenge Marold's death but is unable to do so when Tristan gazes into her eyes. Tristan swears his gratitude and returns to Cornwall, where King Marke is being politically pressured to take a wife and produce an heir other than Tristan. Tristan offers to go back to Ireland to win Isolde's hand—not for himself, but for his uncle.

Act I

Tristan is escorting Isolde against her will to Cornwall, where she is to marry the king. On the long voyage, Isolde despairs at the prospect of a loveless marriage. Furious at Tristan for relinquishing her to another man, Isolde sends her lady-in-waiting, Brangäne, to fetch him. Tristan declines, and Isolde berates herself for not exacting revenge when she had the chance. She insists that Brangäne prepare a death potion so she and Tristan may drink it before reaching Cornwall. Just as they are nearing the shores, Tristan finally comes to Isolde. She asks him to share a drink with her, to “peace and reconciliation.” Tristan begins to drink the potion prepared by Brangäne; Isolde takes it from him and finishes it. But Brangäne has substituted a love philter for the death potion. Tristan and Isolde gaze at each other for a moment, then abandon themselves to the love they have so long concealed. They confess their love, oblivious to all else as the ship reaches the shore and King Marke approaches.

Act II

Tristan's friend Melot has planned a night hunt to keep the King occupied and give the lovers a chance to meet secretly. Brangäne suspects treachery and warns her mistress not to trust Melot, but Isolde impatiently gives the designated signal and Tristan rushes into her arms. They curse the day and invoke the night, utterly lost in each other. As daybreak approaches, Brangane warns the lovers to no avail. The King, led by Melot, arrives and discovers them. Marke sorrowfully reproaches his nephew, but not harshly enough to satisfy the vengeful Melot, who attacks Tristan. Tristan refuses to defend himself and is gravely wounded. 

Act III

Kurwenal has brought his master to his ancestral home to recover, and has sent for Isolde. Finally the shepherd's pipe announces Isolde's arrival. Tristan, in an ecstatic delirium, tears open his wounds and falls dying into her arms. A second ship carrying King Marke and his retinue arrives. In fear and confusion, Tristan's servant Kurwenal kills Melot and in the ensuing melee is himself killed. But Marke (Brangäne having told him about the potion) has come not to avenge but to pardon; in fact, he has come to arrange the lovers' marriage. It is too late. Enraptured, Isolde releases her life, embracing death as the perfect union.

 


Sinópsis

 

Antes de comenzar la ópera

Tristán ha abandonado su hogar ancestral para servir a su tío Marke, rey de Cornualles, quien al no haber tenido nunca hijos, lo ha nombrado heredero al trono. Cornualles ha sido forzada a pagar un tributo anual al rey de Irlanda. Cuando Morold, el emisario del rey de Irlanda viene a cobrar el tributo, Tristán lo asesina, pero en la batalla es herido gravemente por Morold. Después se descubre que la espada de Morold estaba envenenada y la herida de Tristán no puede sanar. El joven es mandado a la deriva en una barca que llega hasta Irlanda, donde es encontrado y cuidado por Isolda, quien era la prometida de Morold. Tristán intenta ocultar su identidad, pero Isolda lo reconoce como el verdugo de su amante. Ella toma la espada para vengar la muerte de Morold pero se ve incapacitada de hacerlo cuando Tirstán la mira a los ojos. Tristán le jura su gratitud eterna y regresa a Cornualles donde el rey está recibiendo la presión política para contraer matrimonio y producir un heredero aparte de Tristán. Tristán se ofrece para regresar a Irlanda y pedir la mano de Isolda. No para él, sino para su tío.

ACTO 1

Tristán escolta a Isolda hasta Cornualles, contra su voluntad, en donde deberá casarse con el rey. En el largo viaje, Isolda se desespera ante la idea de tener un matrimonio sin amor. Furiosa con Tristán por abandonarla y mandarla a los brazos de otro hombre, Isolda manda a Brangäne, su dama de compañía, a buscarlo. Tristán se niega e Isolda se reprocha a si misma por no haber realizado su venganza cuando tuvo la oportunidad. Le pide a Brangäne que prepare una poción fatal para que ella y Tristán la puedan tomar antes de llegar a Cornualles. Al irse acercando a tierra, Tristán finalmente viene a ver a Isolda. Ella le ofrece algo de beber, en nombre de la "salud y la reconciliación". Tristán comienza a beber la poción preparada por Brangäne. Isolda le arrebata la bebida y la termina de beber, pero Brangäne ha sustituído una poción de amor en lugar de la de la muerte. Tristán e Isolda se miran el uno al otro por un momento y se abandonan al amor que han ocultado por tanto tiempo. Se confiesan su amor olvidando todo lo demás, mientras el barco se acerca a las orillas del mar y el Rey Marke se acerca. 

ACTO II

El amigo de Tristán, Melot, ha planeado una caza nocturna para mantener al rey ocupado y darle a los amantes una oportunidad de encontrarse en secreto. Brangäne sospecha de traición y le aconseja a Isolda no confiar en Melot, pero Isolda da su señal impaciente y Tristán se precipita a llegar a sus brazos. Juntos maldicen al día e invocan a la noche perdidos el uno en el otro. Al llegar el amanecer, Brangäne les avisa a los amantes sin resultado alguno. El rey, guiado por Melot, se presenta y los descubre. Marke, lleno de dolor le reprocha a su sobrino, pero no tan duramente como el vengativo de Melot hubiera querido y este mismo ataca a Tristán. Tristán se rehúsa a defenderse y es gravemente herido.

ACTO III

Kurwenal ha traído a su amo hasta su hogar para recuperarse y ha llamado a Isolda. Finalmente, la flauta del pastor anuncia la llegada de Isolda. Tristán, en un delirio estático, se abre sus heridas y cae moribundo en sus brazos. Un segundo embarque llega con el rey Marke y su séquito. En medio del miedo y la confusión, Kurwenal el siervo de Tristán, mata a Melot y cuerpo a cuerpo es también asesinado. Pero Marke (a quien Brangäne le había contado sobre la poción) ha venido no a vengarse, sino a perdonar. De hecho, a venido a arreglar el matrimonio de los amantes. Pero es demasiado tarde. Embelesada, Isolda se quita la vida, aceptando a la muerte como la perfecta unión.

Cast

Nina Stemme*
Isolde

Ben Heppner*
Tristan

Claudia Mahnke*
Brangaene

Ryan McKinny***
Kurwenal

Christof Fischesser*
King Marke

Creative Team

Patrick Summers
Conductor

Christof Loy*
Director

Johannes Leiacker*
Set and Costume Designer

Olaf Winter*
Lighting Designer

Richard Bado***
Chorus Master

Houston Grand Opera
Orchestra
Chorus


* HGO debut
** HGO Studio Artist
*** Former HGO Studio Artist

Donate Now Button on Support HGO 

To give by phone or for more information, contact Rebecca Kier at 713-546-0252 or rkier@houstongrandopera.org.

To submit your gift by mail, please use this form.

Loyal donors are behind each performance at Houston Grand Opera.
We can’t do it without you; please consider making a gift today!

Donate Now  


You can purchase tickets online until 4 p.m. CST on the day of the performance (Noon CST on the day of a matinee performance). Please call our Customer Care Center at 713-228-OPERA (6737) or 800-62-OPERA (800-626-7372) if you have questions or have other ticketing needs.

How Many Seats? Groups of ten or more receive discounts and special seating! Please call 713-546-0248 or e-mail groups@HoustonGrandOpera.org to learn more about Group Sales.

All sales are final. Latecomers will be seated during an intermission. The use of cameras or recording devices is strictly forbidden at HGO performances. Dates, casting and programs are subject to change without notice.

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