I love that Wagner has the ability to bring us to the brink of something glorious and then eases us away. No wonder the last act was so scandalous! The opera is a four-hour love song, "in which death is transformed into an experience of orgasmic transcendence." I just read this from my genious "Rough Guide to Opera":
Shocked by its eroticism, men at the first performance removed their women from the Munich theatre, and a priest was seen to cross himself before fleeing in horror.Richard Wagner wrote:
This Tristan is turning into something fearful! That last act!!!... I'm afraid the opera will be forbidden...only mediocre performances can save me. Completely good ones are bound to drive people mad.Excuse me while I get back to my CD...er, my studying.