Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Morning Met Tristan and Isolde

Published:Friday | October 14, 2016 | 10:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Arthur Bogues is sandwiched by the beautiful Melanie Graham (left) and Kamesha Cooke.
Britta Hay (left) and Andrea Brown showed up for Saturday's Met Opera.
Dressed for the occasion are lady in red Kameika Lewis (left) and Coleen Brown Jackson.
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Before the love story of Romeo and Juliet, there was Tristan und Isolde.

Last Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera opened its season with a bang, and Palace Amusement facilitated a live feed at Carib 5 in Cross Roads for local opera lovers and newcomers to be a part of the event.

The audience in the cinema watched in amazement as they were placed in the heart of the medieval romance.

Tristan und Isolde is a classic tale with a contemporary twist about a man and woman, who, by circumstances beyond their control, fall in love but are unable to be together.

The three-act opera by Richard Wagner explores themes of love, witchcraft, duty, nobility, family, war, insanity and death.

The fist act takes place aboard a ship where we meet Tristan und Isolde first as star-struck strangers, later spellbound lovers, who battle to express their love for each other.

Isolde, the furious Irish queen, had her previous lover killed by Tristan who later stole her heart, only to ship her off to Cornwall to marry his uncle King Marke. While Tristan seems content with the arrangement, he is caught between his duty to his country and family, and his heart.

Isolde, unable to live without her second love, conspires to end their lives. But they were instead given a love potion by her maid, Brangane. From then onwards, the two were inseparable.

At nightfall, Isolde and her maid meet Tristan as the two sneak off into the darkness of night, full of promise of love and happiness, dreading the mundane and cruel daytime that they spent apart. In this scene, they conspire to break free of their lives apart by ending them together.

Their time together, short but sweet, is interrupted by King Marke. Tristan is shot during a heated battle with King Marke's men and admitted to a hideaway hospital, where he goes insane waiting for his love. When she doesn't show up, he rips off his bandages and bleeds to death. A heartbroken Isolde, inconsolable over his death, attempts to take her own life to join her love in the afterlife.

In the final act we see King Marke at the hospital, Brangane in tow, giving them permission to be together. The opera ends with the two lovebirds side by side.

Although thrilling in its delivery, set against the backdrop of beautiful orchestra, the opera lasted all of five hours! That would knock the wind out of any first-timer. Added bonus: we were taken behind the scenes and saw interviews with the cast and orchestra. All in all, the opera was a wonderful experience. The opera season runs until the middle of 2017, so check out Palace Amusement for more information.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com