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Camilla Nylund © Anna S.

Wagner Tannhäuser

From 05 October TO 13 October 2024
Deutsche Oper - Berlin

Wagner : Tannhäuser

  • Conductor
    Axel Kober
  • Director
    Kirsten Harms
  • Performers
    Tannhäuser: Clay Hilley
    Elisabeth: Camilla Nylund
    Venus: Camilla Nylund
    Wolfram von Eschenbach: Thomas Lehman
    Landgraf Hermann: Tobias Kehrer
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Deutsche Oper - Berlin Location Bismarckstrasse 35 - 10627 Berlin Allemagne

  • Venue's Capacity: 1859

Contrary to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden which was founded in the eighteenth century in the centre of town and for a long time considered the Royal Opera, the history of the Berlin Opera began in 1912, in the Charlottenburg neighborhood situated outside the city limits, and intitiated by the rich bourgeoisie. But the inevitable occured, following the economic crisis of World War I, and the Charlottenburg Opera was ultimately purchased by the City of Berlin.

Bruno Walter greatly improved the musical qualities of this institution which was rebaptized the Städtische Oper (City Opera). Prior to that, Carl Ebert, as administrator (with Rudolf Bing, the future legendary director of the MET in New York, as assistant), promoted more modern music, including those operas by Kurt Weill or Schreker which Klemperer could no longer perform at the then-closed Kr oll-Oper, and which provoked the ire of the Nazis as early as 1933. In 1945, the building was left in ruins, but by the month of August 45, the company presented FIDELIO at the « Theater des Westerns » and animated that theatre until 1961. During this period, the conductor Ferenc Fricsay, named music director, enabled the Städtische Oper to regain its international ranking, alternating standard repertoire in top-quality productions (where voices such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau or Josef Greindl were discovered), works by Stravinsky and Hindemith (who were banned by the Nazis), and world premieres. But in 1955, the Opera Unter den Linden, situated in East Germany, reopened under the name of the Deutsche Staatsoper. Under the influence of this politico-artistic competition, three decisions were made : the Städtische Oper was rebaptized the Deutsche Oper Berlin, plans were made to construct a theatre at the Charlottenburg site (situated in West Berlin), and Carl Ebert who, in the mean­time founded the Glyndebourne Festival, was called back. His productions and season programmes turned West Berlin into one of contemporary opera's main capitals.

Deutsche Oper

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.




A theme of love, religious or spiritual and profane love runs through Wagner's work. It embraces the struggle between types of love and redemption through love. The story line combines mythology characteristic of German Romantic opera and the medieval setting is typical of French Grand Operas.

Act 1 Inside the Castle, near Eisenach and a valley by Warburg.

In Venusberg, the mountain home of Venus, the minstrel knight sings the praises of Venus, the Goddess of Love. He has fled the stress of the world and revels in the seductive atmosphere of Venus Mountain. Venus promises more love making but he wants his freedom. Venus pleads with him to stay but he wants simple earthly pleasures. He prays to the Virgin Mary and Venusberg disappears.
Tannhauser is thankful for his liberty and vows to lead a life of simplicity and humiliation.
Near Wartburg Castle he meets the Landgrave of Thuringia, minstrel knights and long lost friends who remind him of how his singing won the love of the beautiful Elizabeth.

Act 2 The Wartburg

In the castle Elisabeth remembers first hearing tannhauser's voice. The pair are reunited. People gather for the singing competition and Elisabeth's hand is offered to the winner of the love songs section. Tannhäuser cannot forget Venus and sings a stirring hymn to earthly pleasures. The audience is shocked, but Elisabeth bravely shields him and achieves her uncle's pardon. There is a condition, it is that Tannhauser make a pilgrimage to Rome.

Act 3 A valley near Wartburg
Some months later, Elisabeth is desperately searching for her lover's return, but broken, she takes her life. Then he wearily arrives. He has been unable to receive absolution from the Pope. The Pope announced that he would only be absolved when his staff turned into flowers. As Elizabeth's funeral procession approaches, the minstrel knight, after calling on Venus and generating no reponse, dies.
The pilgim chorus enters telling of a miracle - the Pope's staff has blossomed like Spring flowers.

Discover the dramatic, expressive music of Wagner.


Tannhäuser, a Minstrel Knight, tenor
Hermann Landgrave of Thuringia, bass
Elisabeth, the Landgrave's niece, soprano
Walther Von Der Vogelweilde, tenor
Venus, soprano or mezzo-soprano

The production has a wide musical range. Enjoy a plethora of characters from young shepherds and noble pages to knights, pilgrims, sirens, and nymphs.

Deutsche Oper Berlin im Saal © Günter Karl Bose

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