Love story opera to sweep Auckland off its feet this August

Traversing the emotional extremes of distain, desire, love and loss, Auckland Philharmonia’s Opera in Concert production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde will be a profound, unmissable experience. This colossal semi-staged production features an outstanding cast of internationally renowned singers, who will perform alongside the powerful sound of Auckland’s full strength professional orchestra on 10 August in the Auckland Town Hall.

Tristan und Isolde is one of the most influential works of art in history; from its very first notes, Wagner’s opera reshaped music.  A searing portrait of agonised, unstoppable, uncontrollable desire that ultimately ends in tragedy.

This love story like no other will be performed by an extraordinary cast that could grace any great opera house on earth. New Zealand heldentenor, Simon O’Neill, that musical force of nature, has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, London's Royal Opera House, La Scala, Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Paris opera houses as the principal Wagnerian tenor and has sung Tristan at the BBC Proms and Glyndebourne. He is widely regarded as one of the finest Wagnerian singers in the world

Also performing this sublime score with the Auckland Philharmonia will be one of the world’s leading interpreters of Isolde, soprano Ricarda Merbeth. She has previously sung Isolde in Amsterdam, Hamburg, and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she will reprise the role next season. The cast also includes Katarina Karnéus, whose previous appearances include the Vienna Philharmonic and Covent Garden, and globally sought-after bass-baritonesJohan Reuter and Albert Dohmen, who have interpreted major roles at prestigious opera houses across the world. They will be complemented by the New Zealand Opera Chorus.  

Giordano Bellincampi, Auckland Philharmonia’s Music Director and conductor for this concert, says he is “looking forward to exploring this powerful score with a stellar cast of international and New Zealand soloists and the wonderful Auckland Philharmonia. From its famous opening ‘Tristan Chord’, this magnificent opera has captivated audiences around the world for over 150 years, transcending time and place.”

Wagner’s epic opera begins with Isolde, princess of a rival kingdom, travelling to King Marke who has claimed her as his bride. To escort her to his castle, King Marke has sent his knight Tristan. But the King is unaware that when Tristan was once grievously wounded in battle, Isolde healed him – and the two fell in love. Nor is the King aware that Tristan and Isolde, thinking they are escaping their predicament by drinking poison, have actually drunk a love potion.

Opera in Concert is a highlight of Auckland’s Philharmonia’s season every year, and this year’s performance of Tristan und Isolde will be no exception. Succumb to your desires, before it’s too late… get your tickets now.

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