Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

Musical Drama by Richard Wagner

New Production

»In love nothing is found, it is only rediscovered.« / Richard Wagner

Musical Director
Lighting Design
Andreas Grüter
Sound Design
Holger Schwark, Stefan Holtz
Associate Director
Tatjana Heiniger
Stefan Poprawka
König Marke
Ein junger Seemann / Ein Hirt
Ein Steuermann


In no other work of music theatre is the phenomenon of love in all its phases presented so radically and the alternative to the opposition of ›here‹ and ›beyond‹ investigated with such intensity as in Tristan und Isolde. The dialogue between this »impossible material« (Wagner) and the expanse of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum is the subject under discussion in this matinée. Further information ...


Turbinenhalle, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum 


21. august, 11:00 a.m.


5 €

»I understand less and less how I can have created such a thing! Here I have exceeded everything that lies within the realm of the possible«, Richard Wagner realizes, once he has completed his opus metaphysicum in 1859. In truth his adaptation of the ancient Celtic saga focuses with radical exclusivity on love and death. From the first moment, Tristan and Isolde’s love is fatal, in their night of love they celebrate the absence of life and the world as a pre-requisite for happiness: »Forget that I live… release me from the world.« The three strophes of this great love poem are music which unfolds tentatively, questioningly, sound which stands still even in glory, the dissolution of harmony in a state of open suspension. »How I became a Buddhist by working on Tristan and Isolde«, Wagner later writes – because precisely this release from place and time is a central theme of Buddhism. To stage Wagner’s music drama at the Ruhrtriennale 2011 in such a remarkable location as this early 20th century power plant, far from the restrictive conditions of conventional theatre spaces, presents a special challenge to director Willy Decker and stage designer Wolfgang Gussmann. In Kirill Petrenko, future general director of the Bavarian State Opera and conductor of the new Ring for the Bayreuth Festival in 2013, Willy Decker has found an unusual musical partner with whom he can embark on an exciting encounter with this »impossible« piece and bring all its irreconcilable contradictions to life in the cathedral-like expanse of the Jahrhunderthalle.

A Ruhrtriennale production. Supported by the Kunststiftung NRW and the Stiftung Pro Bochum.