Wagner's Voluptuous Opera Tannhäuser at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
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The last date listed for Tannhäuser was Wednesday February 28, 2007 / 7:00pm.
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Wagner’s most voluptuous opera opens with the lyric poet Tannhäuser lost in lust with Venus, the pagan goddess of passion. Our hero appears to be living the ultimate male fantasy. Venus’s charms prove incapable of eternal enchantment, however, when Tannhäuser chooses earthly freedom over the slavery of erotic entrapment.
The musical gifts that won Tannhäuser the heart of a goddess also conquer the heart of the beatific Elisabeth, a nobleman’s innocent daughter. When he shocks the town with his bold song affirming love’s sensual delights and discloses his dalliance with Venus, he’s condemned and banished. Only the fatal love of his faithful Elisabeth can redeem him.
James Conlon conducts this company premiere in a new production directed by Ian Judge. Tannhäuser features some of opera’s most thrilling music: The famous overture, the rousing bacchanale that crescendos to a savage climax, Elisabeth’s greeting to the hall of music (“Dich, teure Halle”), Wolfram’s serenade to the evening star (“O, du mein holder Abendstern”), and the heaven-storming Pilgrim’s Chorus.