Review: ‘Tristan & Isolde’
Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
"Tristan & Isolde," one of Richard Wagner's musical masterpieces, tells the story of Isolde, an Irish princess who is taken to marry against her will to King Marke of Cornwall.
Tristan, the knight transporting Isolde, naturally becomes the object of Isolde's hostility. In an attempt to poison Tristan, Isolde accidentally gives him and herself a strong love potion, and the two fall madly in love. This is a tragedy. However, the trouble really begins when the ship finally reaches the expectant King Marke, who is soon to discover his betrothed is taken.
It's difficult to find fault with any vocalist in a Dallas Opera Production. Most of the principal singers are carefully selected singers from around the world. Each voice is so full and lustrous that it fills the entire opera house with sound so rich and colorful you can almost see it. There are no microphones to amplify a voice in an opera.
What really makes "Tristan & Isolde" an unforgettable experience is the fusion of both visual art and Wagner's score. The Dallas Opera, suffering from some financial cutbacks, had originally intended for "Tristan & Isolde" to be staged as a concert, rather than a full opera.
Thanks to donations and the implementation of visual projections, the full-fledged opera came to life. Rather than use traditional physical set pieces, this production uses a series of sliding screens onto which moving images and backdrops are projected. The use of the projections creates some of the most visually stunning sets in recent Dallas theater history.
The Dallas Opera always seems to pull together to make some of the stunning productions the Winspear Opera House has ever seen, and "Tristan & Isolde" is absolutely no exception.
With the precise and truly fantastic projections, Wagner's epic score, and world-class singers, what's not to fall in love with?