Wagner's Tannhäuser

Staatskapelle Berlin

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Sasha Waltz — Choreographer, stage director

Bernd Skodzig — Costume designer

Pia Maier Schriever — Set designer

David Finn — Lighting

Jens Schroth — Dramaturgy

René Pape — Hermann, Landgrave of Thuringia

Peter Seiffert — Tannhäuser

Peter Sonn — Walther von der Vogelweide

Peter Mattei — Wolfram von Eschenbach

Tobias Schabel — Biterolf

Jürgen Sacher — Henrich der Schreiber

Jan Martiník — Reinmar von Zweter

Marina Prudenskaya — Venus

Ann Petersen — Elisabeth, the Landgrave’s niece

Chor der Staatsoper Berlin

Martin Wright — Chorus director

Program notes

Join maestro Daniel Barenboim and René Pape in an exceptional performance of Wagner’s Tannhäuser at the Schiller Theater Berlin!

In 1882, Wagner described his fifth opera Tannhäuser as a “romantic grand opera”, but later elevated its status to a “consummate drama”—honoring its epic scale and revolutionary orchestration. Premiered under the composer’s own baton in 1845, the opera blends tradition with innovation by combining mythological elements characteristic of the German Romantische Oper and the medieval setting of many French grand operas. The plot features fantastical protagonists based on the German legends of the medieval Minnesänger Tannhäuser and the Wartburg Song Contest, alongside the folk tale of Venus and her subterranean realm, Venusberg. The opposition of sacred and profane love lies at the heart of this masterpiece, which remains a staple of major opera house repertoire in the 21st century.

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