Published 25 January 2013

Tristan and Isolde

Première Saturday 9 February 2013 at 3.00 pm

The Göteborg Opera is celebrating Richard Wagner's 200th anniversary with his gigantic intimate drama, Tristan and Isolde. The production brings together some of Sweden's most prominent singers and an exciting first appearance by an American guest.

Tristan and Isolde ought to be separated by hatred, yet they love each other more than life itself. This multifaceted, tragic love story containing material from Celtic legends is played out at sea, on a ship travelling between Ireland and Cornwall. She is the princess who, against her will, must marry the enemy’s king. He is the soldier of this king, the warrior who never disappoints. The desperate Isolde serves both Tristan and herself with a goblet of poison. However, Isolde's handmaid has replaced the poison with a love potion. In love beyond reason and sense, Tristan and Isolde give in to their love. Their deceit has terrible consequences in this story of a love so overwhelming that it can be fulfilled only in death.

The Göteborg Opera production gathers together some of Sweden's most prominent singers. Isolde is played by the opera house's own Annalena Persson, who has interpreted the role previously on several international stages. Her beloved Tristan is played by Lars Cleveman who has played this role at Covent Garden in London, for example. In spring 2013 he makes his début at the Metropolitan in the title role of Siegfried. In the role of the lady's maid who transforms death into love, we see and hear Katarina Karnéus. She also performs internationally on the world's most prominent opera and concert stages and has been firmly linked to The Göteborg Opera since the 2012/2013 season. American baritone James Johnson, world famous for his interpretations of Wagner and Strauss roles, is making a special appearance for the first time at The Göteborg Opera in the role of Kurwenal.

In charge of the production is the close-knit, acclaimed team that was responsible, in spring 2011, for Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung at Wermland Opera. Director Wilhelm Carlsson is returning to The Göteborg Opera after Goya (2009). The stage design has been created by Peter Lundquist, who was behind the magical stage set for the Mary Poppins musical (2008). This production was Peter Lundquist's last, before his tragic death in autumn 2012. The costumes have been designed by Ann-Marie Anttila who made the much-discussed costumes for Rusalka last autumn. Lighting design, which plays its own special role in this production, is by Torkel Blomkvist. Conductor Stefan Lano is making his début here in Sweden.

The performance lasts around 5 hours, including two intermissions. Première Saturday 9 February 2013 at 3.00 pm, seven performances until Saturday 23 March 2013.

Please contact Jenny Jernberg, Press Officer, The Göteborg Opera, for further information and press tickets, at +46 (0)31 10 80 35/(0)768 01 80 35 or The performance lasts around 5 hours, including two intermissions.

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