Top

arts

Stories

 

Stand and Deliver

HGO stares down all the challenges in its long-awaited Tristan and Isolde

Eschenbach beautifully exploits the opera's asynchronous and dissonant voices, creating a sublime blend of the human and orchestral sounds. From time to time, Wagner's score reaches toward the atonal, which is a welcome diversion, especially during scenes when the leads just stand and sing for long periods. From the prelude to the closing strains of the plaintive "Liebestod," the orchestra ably weaves its instrumental voices with those of the principal cast to create the composer's trademark flow of melody.

Another integral part of HGO's success lies in the use of Hockney's raked sets. Ships, castles and the rocky mountains of Tristan's native land are cast in bright, surreal hues and avant-garde shapes. The dazzling sets lend a cinematic, visual diversion to the otherwise static drama. In HGO's Tristan, the visual and aural blend to convey the inner longing of thwarted passion.

The inner longing of thwarted passion? That sounds like an apt description of HGO's own frustrated history with Tristan and Isolde. Consider the company's passion for the opera no longer thwarted. It's in full bloom now.

Stamina to spare: Andersen and Behle, full of Wagnerian sound and fury, supply most of the tension and drama in Tristan and Isolde.
George Hixson
Stamina to spare: Andersen and Behle, full of Wagnerian sound and fury, supply most of the tension and drama in Tristan and Isolde.

Houston Grand Opera performs Tristan and Isolde through February 11 at the Wortham Theater Center, Texas Avenue at Smith Street, (713)227-ARTS. $22-$182.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...