The romantic three-act opera Tristan and Isolde, the central part of the extensive reformist opus of the composer Richard Wagner, has been entrusted to the American director Anne Bogart. The strength of literary and historical models which Wagner chose for his stage characters, is combined and interwoven precisely in the opera Tristan and Isolde.

Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde is often ranked amongst the most extreme operas ever written. The opening chord in the introduction referred to by many as the beginning of modern music, after which chromaticity, dissonance and, according to composer Arnold Schoenberg, atonality were introduced into music. This opera rejects the conventional notions of time and space and due to the unresolved suspensions, it is difficult to recognise the endings and beginnings. The director poses the question of whether it is possible to lead the audience on a journey and deprive them of their attachment to this terrestrial world.

Can the audience symbolically drink the love potion together with Tristan and Isolde? Can we create a synaesthetic world in which we stop being sure of where our senses begin and end? The dissonance between the individual and the world is the central drama of Tristan and Isolde. The opera permeates into a whirlpool of unfulfilled longings, of the sexual cravings and painful unresolved tensions of two pre-Freudian characters. The production undetectably travels from the literal, material world into a subjective metaphysical sensibility, and after that back again to the material, by exploring Wagner’s words:

“Life and death, the whole meaning of existence of the outer world, is dependant only on the inner movements of the soul.”

For the first time in its history, Rijeka Opera presents the opera of Richard Wagner and this, as he wrote himself “the boldest and most original work of his life.” The impressive Maida Hundeling (DE) the unforgettable Rijeka Elektra leads the soloist section under the directorial leadership of Ville Matvejeff (FI).