In the opera Tristan und Isolde by the German composer Richard Wagner, Isoldes finale “Mild und Leise” (Liebestod) is an iconic death scene. How come that this famous ending has such a legendary status? What explains the mystique around its performance history? And why are we still overcome with emotion when we listen to it? In its own unique way, this musical theater performance unravels the secret behind the music.

In search of an in-depth analysis of the way music can affect the mind and body of the listener, German artists Johannes Müller and Philine Rinnert chose Wagner's famous Liebestod as a case study. They conducted numerous interviews with singers, sound scientists, opera professionals and opera lovers. They searched the archives of the opera houses of Ghent and Antwerp for traces of long-forgotten Flemish performances. And a large-scale acoustic experiment was carried out with about 80 Ghent residents, the results of which are also incorporated in this intriguing performance.

In the beautiful Lully Hall of the Ghent opera, the research is brought to life in a fascinating way. The singers and performers Elisa Soster, Hauke Heumann and Shlomi Moto Wagner will be accompanied by a pianist and a string quintet. And a special role is reserved for one of the great Flemish opera divas of the second half of the 20th century: Jacqueline Van Quaille. Dive into Rinnert and Müller's 'opera-archaeological' research and discover all the aspects of Wagner's famous Liebestod.


Image: Tim Coppens


Funded by the Doppelpass Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation / Gefördert im Fonds Doppelpass der Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Length: ca. 75 minutes  

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