The TSO's coup - Tristan & Isolde starring soprano Nina Stemme
Address: 1 Davey Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Date: Saturday 19 November
Ticket: From $150
Buy / Ticket: http://tickets.tso.com.au/single/SYOS.aspx?p=4229
Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton will be performing in Hobart fresh from their triumphs in the same opera at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where Tristan and Isolde opened the 2016-17 season on 26 September for a six-performance run and had critics reaching for superlatives.
Nina Stemme’s engagement is a coup for the TSO as this concert will be her first and only appearance in Australia.
Sydney-born tenor Stuart Skelton, who was awarded “Best Male Singer” at the 2014 International Opera Awards, has never sung the role of Tristan in Australia, so many Australian opera fans are looking forward to the Hobart concert, especially since he has won tremendous acclaim for the role not only in New York but also in London and Baden-Baden.
Swedish-born Nina Stemme is widely considered the finest dramatic soprano of our times and was described by the New York Times as “the world’s reigning Isolde.”
Mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec, who is an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, will be singing the role of Brangäne and, like Nina Stemme, will be making her Australian debut in this concert.
For the TSO, the concert performance of excerpts from Tristan and Isolde is a major undertaking and will necessitate the 47-piece orchestra being augmented by additional musicians.
Although relatively small by Wagnerian standards, certainly much smaller than Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, Tristan and Isolde nevertheless requires an orchestra of at least 60 musicians.
Tristan and Isolde is based upon an ancient Celtic legend about the passionate but ill-fated love affair between the Irish princess Isolde and Cornish knight Tristan.
The opera is generally held to be one of the most remarkable achievements in all music and concludes with one of the greatest scenes in the history of opera, Isolde’s famous “Love Death.”
Tristan and Isolde demands extraordinary stamina from the principal singers as well as the orchestra players and for many years was thought to be unperformable.
The concert on 19 November will be conducted by Marko Letonja, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the TSO, who has an enviable record as an opera conductor in Europe, having conducted at many of the great opera houses of the world including La Scala Milan, the Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera and the Semper Opera Dresden.
In 2017 Marko Letonja will conduct Wagner’s Ring cycle with Nina Stemme at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm.
Wagner lovers are renowned for travelling the globe in search of quality Wagner performances so it is no surprise that visitors from interstate and overseas will be making a special trip to Hobart for the one-off concert on 19 November.
Tristan und Isolde will be sung in German with English surtitles.
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE (excerpts)
SATURDAY 19 November 7.30pm
Federation Concert Hall, Hobart
Marko Letonja conductor
Nina Stemme soprano
Stuart Skelton tenor
Monika Bohinec mezzo-soprano
Men of the TSO Chorus
Tickets available at tso.com.au or 1800 001 190.