9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good performance undermined by perverse staging.,
This review is from: Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Recorded Live At The Bayreuth Festival 2009) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde (Recorded Live At The Bayreuth Festival 2009) [Blu-ray]
Christoph Marthaler modern staging is set on a cruise liner, with the set deteriorating as the Acts proceed, and the drama is presented as a bitter sweet flashback to a passionate love affair.
The backward glancing works well for Acts 1 and 111, but is a disaster for the second act love duet where there is a total disconnect between the immediacy of the intense musical passion with Tristan (Robert Dean Smith) standing on his own looking at the audience, and Isolde (Irene Theorin) frequently walking back to the audience touching walls of the salon recalling the distant past.
There is only one way to deal with Act 11, listen to the fine singing and ignore the pictures.
Robert Dean Smith is impressive as Tristan, and Irene Theorin is good but obviously still finding her way into the role of Isolde. Michelle Breedt is a fine Brangane, but Robert Holl as King Marke and Jukka Rasilainen as Kurwenal a little less successful.
If singing were the sole criterion this performance could be recommended, however I would suggest renting before buying as the staging, particularly Act 11, is perverse.
Difficult to rate, I feel four stars for singing and one for staging, so have settled for three stars.