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Psychological interpretation of Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" in Chemnitz

The Chemnitz Opera and Richard Wagner have long had a close connection. There were spectacular productions of the "Ring of the Nibelung", which were sometimes more historical, sometimes with very feminine connotations and were staged exclusively by female directors. This so-called women's “Ring” was almost crowned with a “Götterdämmerung” directed by Elisabeth Stöppler , who was honored with the “Faust” theater prize for her view. It's no wonder that the director, who lives in Dresden, has now been invited back to Chemnitz for a Wagner production, in order to do a completely different major work by the master: "Tristan and Isolde". So from world fire to love drama - where exactly Elisabeth Stöppler's direction should lead this time, however, remained open for the time being. In any case, it didn't go to the locations specified in Wagner's libretto, not to Cornwall, not to Kareol and actually not to the high Irish Sea. But for the first act in the closed narrows a submarine, then in the drawing room of a noble country house, which should of course represent the court of King Marke, and finally in Tristan's death room, which looked much more like his boyhood pad with posters from Rambo and Rocky on the walls, with a shelf full of knick-knacks, including ship models and war toys, even a tank, and of course the film poster for "Das Boot", which visually closed the circle at the beginning and said a lot about the character of this Tristan . reinterpretation of the piece Chemnitz was given a new interpretation of this material about the king's daughter Isolde, who Tristan is supposed to bring to his master, King Marke, as a bride, but beforehand she has fallen for her because of a love potion they had shared together. Above all, Elisabeth Stöppler has delivered a highly interesting psychological reinterpretation of the characters. The play has an important prehistory, the duel between Tristan and Morold, Isolde's first fiancé. When she learns that Tristan killed him, of all people, whom she nursed back to health because she didn't know the story, she swears deadly revenge on him. A death potion should help to kill Tristan and thus avoid marriage to King Marke himself. So murder and suicide. But Brangäne, Isolde's confidante, prevents this by giving the two a love potion. And then fate takes its course. Tristan and Isolde have fallen for each other, Marke feels betrayed, his confidante Melot betrays Tristan, who has to flee badly injured, is cared for by his friend Kurwenal and finally dies after a last reunion with Isolde. Interesting possible interpretations Here, however, the question remains open as to whether there really was a physical reunion or whether everything was going on insanely in Tristan's head? Elisabeth Stöppler tried to interpret the opera and its staff very psychologically, thereby asking the audience more questions than they answered. However, it did offer interesting possible interpretations. An interpretation that is always more impressive and lasting because it will be remembered. Of course, some inconsistent details should also contribute to this, which of course cannot be resolved. True to the text, the submarine sang about setting sails and pistols were played everywhere, and then shots were fired, although Wagner always talks about swords. In addition, one could be amazed that "Melot struck the wound", which Tristan inflicted himself with a pistol shot. Last but not least, his constant preoccupation with a yo-yo seemed strange, questionable - or freely interpretable. What should be expressed or even compensated for? The ups and downs of human life, the transience of time? Anyone who sees this as contradictory could certainly have a problem with this way of dealing. But an artistic freedom can also be seen in it, which has been implemented quite magnificently by all the soloists. The director drew very precise personality profiles.

25 Oktober 2021www.mdr.deMichael Ernst, MDR CLASSIC

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