Johannes Müller & Philine Rinnert

Gif liebestod
  • Wed 12.01 – 20:00 – Opera Gent
  • Thu 13.01 – 20:00 – Opera Gent
  • Fri 14.01 – 13:30 – Opera Gent

The ico­nic Tristan und Isolde’ revisited

In the fourth per­for­man­ce – in the last act – I was struck by the injus­ti­ce of this unpre­ce­den­ted feat. I shou­ted: this is the last per­for­man­ce of Tristan and it must never be per­for­med again.’ Richard Wagner wro­te the­se words after the fourth per­for­man­ce of his mas­ter­pie­ce Tristan und Isolde. After long insis­ten­ce by the com­po­ser himself as well as by King Ludwig II, the acclai­med but exhau­sted cou­ple Ludwig and Malvina Schnorr von Carolsfeld sang the tit­le roles for the fourth and final time, which requi­red an extra­or­di­na­ry effort. Ludwig would sud­den­ly die a few weeks later, Malvina would never set foot on a sta­ge again.

Not only becau­se of the excep­ti­o­nal­ly moving music, but also becau­se of the legen­da­ry cre­a­ti­on and per­for­man­ce his­to­ry of Tristan und Isolde, this com­po­si­ti­on has the abi­li­ty to arou­se the fas­ci­na­ti­on of ope­ra audien­ces like no other. Isolde’s clo­sing song, in which she beholds the dead Tristan, is an ico­nic death sce­ne and at the same time an almost ana­ly­ti­cal descrip­ti­on of her own per­cep­ti­on: what she feels, what she sees, what she hears.

In a series of per­for­man­ce instal­la­ti­ons at the Ghent Opera, the German artists Philine Rinnert and Johannes Müller explo­re the unsur­pas­sed appeal of Wagner’s subli­me ope­ra through acous­tic and visu­al expe­ri­ments, ope­ra-his­to­ri­cal arte­facts, con­ver­sa­ti­ons with sci­en­tists, doc­tors, sin­gers, pas­si­o­na­te ope­ra fans and ope­ra doubters.


con­cept, research, direc­ti­on: Philine Rinnert & Johannes Müller- dra­ma­tur­gy: Koen Bollen & Piet De Volder — ima­ge: Tim Coppens — with: Opera Ballet Vlaanderen