Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner), Wiener Staatsoper

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The moon risies, a Nordic style ships sails on fine foaming and stiring music out of the orchstra pit. David MacVicar is the Director of this new production of Wanger's drama of love, medieval mystery and human friendship. He tells us the story in a very tradtional modest setting with beautiful natural images by designer Robert Jones, avoiding technical gimmicks and action. The shining full moon observes the disastrous fate of the loving coulple. The stage remians mostly dark and slightly enlightened.

Everything concentrates on the fateful encounter of Tristan, sung by Peter Seiffert in great condition, and Isolde by American Linda Watson. Seiffert has internalised the role of the hero and obedient friend surrendered by the power of magic. His heroic tenor of Lohengrin is now replaced by the dramatic warm romantic powerful voice convincing till the end. Linda Watson matches Seifferts performance experssively. Her Soprano stays stable, strong and clear. Stephen Milling is King Marke who mourns about the loss of his friend and admired bride with his warm full bass showing deficits in the height. The German Markus EIche is a fresh young Kurwenal. Janina Baaechle is once again caring and loyal Brangäne but remains colourless and too low in volume. Music Director Franz Welser Möst conducts the brilliantly performing Viennese Philharmonic orchestra. His interprtation is dramatic, exciting, fortissimo and sometimes pushed, then falling back into intimate moments full of romance embedding the singers in a warm veiling sound. Mild und leise ends this wonderful evening.

Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner), Wiener Staatsoper - sept. / dec. 2013

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