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Opera

Royal Opera’s Tristan und Isolde: an absurd production - but still a magnificent night

Stephen Gould and Nina Stemme were not ideal but Iain Patterson and Sarah Connolly were

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

Tristan und Isolde

Royal Opera House

Any adequate performance of Tristan und Isolde, and the first night of the Royal Opera’s production was at least that, leaves you wondering what to do with the rest of your life, as Wagner both feared and hoped it would. What Tristan does — one of the things — is to present an image of romantic love, in both its torments and its ecstasies, which makes everything else seem trivial; and at the same time to undercut that image by asserting the claims of ordinary life, but in the subtlest way.

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