A good five and a half hours of getting my Wagner masterwork on - and I was awake for 93 -94% of it. This was a tough one - the production did not help. Let's take " masterwork " as meaning serious , so five and a half hours of serious opera. Stunning, beautiful , barely meant for human ears music - that had some singing along with it - and a seriously flawed concept.
" In times of your .....". Ireland and Cornwall ( think Poldark ) are at war, and as a way to end the war the Irish Princess, Isolde is sent off to marry the King of Ireland. BUT, before she can do this the kings right hand man, Tristan, is shipped wrecked on the coast of Cornwall ( again, Ross Poldark ) . The two sort of fall in love as one does in masterwork opera - but Isolde has to marry the King so every one gets on a boat. In this case our boat is a soviet ear rusty old steamer, with a mid century state room for the princess - where she decided to kill herself but brews a love potion instead. A potent which Tristan and Isolde, already a bit in love, drink and fall full grand opera in love . " Noooooooo I looooooove you mooooore ".... repeat and repeat and repeat.
I dont know why the Metropolitan Opera hates stage lighting , but the many of the ones I have seen lately are just too damn dark. Anyway, there are murders and deaths and much more singing in the dark. The last act being in again, a soviet looking hospital, that may have ghosts or younger selves.. I could not figure that out.
Anyway, the music was most enjoyable, the talent in the show was outstanding, loads of bears singing about love to other bears.. just not love with each other, but it seems that could have been an issue with the King...
I did it, saw it - add it to my growing opera list. Happy I did - would NOT recommend this one for the casual watcher or even s major opera with out with out loads of caffeine . I would sit through a less artsy production again, just to see if that was what I did not like about it. See dark, but this is like the " hit song " from the opera.