Musical Director Alain Altinoglu on his first encounter with Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and the major music-historical influence of this four-hour tour de force.
Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde poses a major challenge to every opera director. To turn the unendliche stream of monologues and dialogues in this masterpiece into enduring images, La Monnaie brought together two complementary visual artists. The German film director Ralf Pleger is well-acquainted with the Wagnerian universe: his documentary on the life and work of this composer won him the Public Award on the 2013 World Film Festival of Montréal. For this new production, he joins hands with the German sculptor Alexander Polzin, who previously at La Monnaie created the impressive stage design for our 2017 production of Aida. In this video portrait, both artists contemplate their approach to Wagner’s timeless hymn to love and death.
Let our head of Dramaturgy Reinder Pols guide you on the metaphysical trip that is ‘Tristan and Isolde’. An unforgettable homage to the mythic power of love, coming to La Monnaie on May 2.
“Each time I finish working on a Wagner opera, my first question is: ‘when can I start again?’” Our Music Director Alain Altinoglu has been entranced by the Meister von Bayreuth for several years. This time, he is getting ready to work on the composer’s final and most enigmatic opera. The musical mystery play Parsifal was the opera debut for Romeo Castellucci. Ten years later he is confronting his own electrifying production.
A new decade got under way just a little while ago. That sort of ten-year milestone may seem arbitrary, but it is already clear that we face major changes in the near future. If recent years are anything to go by, we can expect a turbulent period in both politics and society, in the context of an ultra-rapidly changing world. That kind of climate forces us to move with the times. We must not, we cannot, sidestep the burning issues in society today.