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© Julien-Mauve - Greetings From Mars

Wagner Tannhäuser

From 11 October TO 30 October 2022
Opéra - Lyon

Wagner : Tannhäuser

4h dont 2 entractes
  • Conductor
    Daniele Rustioni
  • Director
    David Hermann
  • Performers
    Tannhäuser: Simon O'Neill
    Elisabeth: Elena Guseva
    Venus: Irene Roberts
    Wolfram von Eschenbach: Christoph Pohl
    Landgraf Hermann: Liang Li
Premium Category

Premium category (valid on some dates): get a seat in the best category and an intermission dinner at the amphitheater of the Opéra de Lyon (cold plate with fresh and seasonal products to choose between meat, vegetarian or fish, dessert, glass of wine or soft drink).
Please let us know if you would like a meat plate, a vegetarian plate or a fish plate and a glass of wine or a soft drink.
In case of a specific allergy, please let us know.


  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Opéra - Lyon Location 1 Place de la Comédie - 69001 Lyon France

  • Venue's Capacity: 1200

The city of Lyon has a long lyrical past, for, as early as 1697, the town obtained the authorisation (a then highly sought-after privilege) to open a Royal Academy of Music. Lyon's first permanent opera was built in 1756; the theatre was later razed, while its foundations served as the basis for a new theatre, opened in 1831. During this long history, the Lyon Opera forged, little by little, a solid reputation of proposing an innovative repertoire. This reputation was quite justified, and the Opera became known as the " cradle of French Wagnerianism," for it was here that the MEISTERSINGER, in 1896, and the RING, in 1904, were premiered in France. The Wagnerian tradition lasted until the Second World War, alongside an ever-increasing place reserved for contemporary works (Schoenberg and Henze were billed in 1967).


But it was mainly as of Louis Erlo's arrival at the head of the institution in 1969 that the house established a firm reputation as one of France's most dynamic theatres in the domain of lyrical creation. Besides the French premiere of Richard Strauss' DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU, the stage proposed the French premiere of works composed by, amongst others, Nono, Berio, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, whose DIE SOLDATEN was performed here in 1983. This same year, the Lyon Opera became equipped with a permanent orchestra, with John Eliot Gardiner as its music director. Gardiner's wide ranging repertoire, and especially his sound knowledge of the baroque sensitivity, together with the affinity of his successor, Kent Nagano (appointed in 1988), for twentieth century music, have secured the orchestra's ability to readily adapt to the most diverse works.


In 1993, the new Lyon Opera was inaugurated, entirely redesigned by the architect Jean Nouvel. While the building underwent renovation, the company took advantage of the six seasons spent outside of its theatre to perform in different places, reaching out to a new audience. The new building, designed to incorporate a large glass wall into the existing walls of the old theatre, is symbolic of the Lyon Opera's past: a perfect union of audacity and tradition. The inaugural evening therefore included both a revival of Lully's PHAETON, that had opened the first season during the seventeenth century, and the premiere of Debussy's little-known unfinished opera RODRIGUE ET CHIMENE. Thanks to a reputation strengthened by continuing success, as well as a by the policy of maintaining a prestigious training programme for young singers and by the production of dynamic audiovisual projects, the Lyon Opera was, in 1996, the first Institution outside of Paris to receive the status of "National Opera by the French authorities.


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.

Opéra de Lyon © Franchella Stofleth

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