@Home > Tannhauser
|Composed 1843-1845; revised 1859-1861.
First performed October 19, 1845; March 13, 1861.
Libretto by the composer (in German).
|A Summary of gTannhauserh
In the early 13th century, in Thuringen, Germany, Tannhauser who
is a knight and minstrel spends time with Venus who is the Goddess of lust.
But, Tannhauser is tired of the life with Venus. He leaves the forbidden
Tannhauser goes back to reality, which is a place near the castle of Wartburg.
Some friends of Tannhauser asked him where he had been until then. Tannhauser
refuses to answer their questions, and he attempts to leave. Then, one
of his friends, Wolfram, reminds him that Elisabeth, who was Tannhauserfs
lover, has been waiting for him for a long time.
In Wartburg castle, Landgrave Hermann holds a song
contest, and declares that the winner will be awarded the prize by his daughter,
Elisabeth. Among a lot of nobles and knights, Hermann
gives challengers the subject of their song.
It is gEssence of Love.h Wolfram sings that Essence
of Love is Platonic. But, Tannhauser sings
that it is the pleasures of lust, and he praises Venus. The audience knows that
Tannhauser visited Venus in the forbidden place,
Venusberg. All people insist he be banished. However, Elisabeth appeals to them
to stop. She asserts that she is the most deeply hurt. Landgrave Hermann orders
Tannhauser to visit the Pope in order to pay for what he has done.
Several months later, Elisabeth
doesnft find Tannhauser among pilgrims from Rome. So,
she decides to go to heaven.
Then, Tannhauser comes back from Rome, and he tells
his friend, Wolfram, that Tannhauserfs penitence was refused. Tannhauser
attempts to visit Venus again. Wolfram stops him. Then, the coffin, in which
Elisabeth is laid, is carried passed them. Tannhauser
takes his last breath, because he is shocked to see her. But, his soul is
saved. That is to say, Elisabethfs death brings about his salvation.
|A Comment on gTannhauserh
|You may think that all operas composed by Wilhelm
Richard Wagner are difficult and are long. But, this opera, gTannhauser,h is
one of the easiest operas of Wagnerfs. You can understand that music and story.
Wagner often deals with some issues such as love, death, salvation in his
operas. You can also understand these general ideas of Wagnerfs.
The music in this opera is easy, and you may know some famous melodies.
This operafs overture especially consists of many kinds of motif in this
opera. If you listen to the overture many times, you can understand Wagnerfs
music more easily.
The principal roles are the title role, Tannhauser,
and the heroine, Elisabeth. But, I recommend you watch Wolfram closely too, who
is Tannhauserfs friend. Wolfram also loves Elisabeth, but he never expresses
his true feelings for Elisabeth. His behaviour seems to express just platonic
love like in his song in act 2. He sings that essence of
love is platonic. Wolfram also sings a beautiful aria, gO du mein holder Abendstern (Song
to the evening star)h in act 3.
|Gluck, C. W. (1714-1787)
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Mozart, W. A. (1756-1791)
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@- The Magic Flute
Beethoven, L. v. (1770-1827)
Weber, C. M. v. (1786-1826)
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Rossini, G. (1792-1868)
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Donizetti, G. (1797-1848)
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Verdi, G. (1813-1901)
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Wagner, R. (1813-1883)
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Strauss, J. (1825-1899)
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Bizet, G. (1838-1875)
Tchaikovsky, P. J. (1840-1893)
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Massenet, J. (1842-1912)
Humperdinck, E. (1854-1921)
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Puccini, G. (1858-1924)
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Leoncavallo, R. (1858-1919)
Mascagni, P. (1863-1945)
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Debussy, C. (1862-1918)
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Strauss, R. (1864-1949)
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