Richard Wagner

Tristan und


Handlung in drei Aufzügen

Text Richard Wagner

Sunday 24. September 2023 17:00 – 22:00 2 Intermissions Main Stage
Subscription 22

Ticket information

Season 2023/2024

Choose a day of the week and your favorite seats and enjoy five performances in one season.

The following performances are included in this subscription:

24. September 2023: TRISTAN UND ISOLDE
19. November 2023: LE GRAND MACABRE
14. January 2024: DON GIOVANNI
18. February 2024: DON QUIXOTE
30. June 2024: FALSTAFF


Season 2024/2025

Choose a day of the week and your favorite seats and enjoy five performances in one season.

The following performances are included in this subscription:

15. September 2024: LA TRAVIATA
03. November 2024: BILLY BUDD
15. December 2024: PALESTRINA
09. Febuary 2025: TOSCA

Cast at
24. September 2023

Musikalische Leitung

Philippe Jordan


Calixto Bieito


Rebecca Ringst


Ingo Krügler


Michael Bauer

About the Production

Short Summary

Isolde loves Tristan, and Tristan loves Isolde. A love with no alternative, no chance, because Isolde is to marry King Marke in order to seal the peace between Ireland and Kareol.

Tristan accompanies her, who is wavering between contempt and despair, to Kareol. "Chosen to me, lost to me", sings Isolde about Tristan, and continues: "Death-consecrated head! Doomed heart!" Only in death does their love seem possible. Isolde's confidante Brangäne, however, administers a love potion instead of the requested death potion, and the fate of the two "night consecrated ones" takes its course.

Tristan und



Tristan, the adopted son of King Mark of England, is at the helm of a ship. Tristan brings Isolde, the king's daughter of the subjugated Irish, to England.

There he will marry her off to the widowed Marke in order to strengthen the alliance between the two peoples - and his own position of power. On board, he keeps his distance from Isolde. Instead of treating her with the respect she deserves, he mocks her in a mocking song that the entire crew joins in with.

Isolde reveals the story to her confidante Brangäne: During the war, Tristan had killed Isolde's fiancé Morold. However, he had suffered a poisoned wound from the duel. The ailing Tristan set himself adrift in a boat off the coast of Ireland to be cared for by Isolde as the minstrel "Tantris", as he could only hope to recover from her healing skills. Isolde recognized him as the murderer of her fiancé and yet was unable to take revenge when the sick man looked her in the eye.

the cured "Tantris" returned under his true name as King Mark's suitor. The beaten Irish had no choice but to accept this proposal. When Brangäne points out the magic potions she had smuggled on board, which could perhaps turn everything around, the deeply humiliated Isolde decides to poison Tristan and herself. But instead of the poison, Brangäne gives the two mortal enemies a love potion that condemns them to the delights and torments of unquenchable longing.

Act 1 80 min
Intermission 35 min
Act 2 75 min
Intermission 35 min
Act 3 75 min

When rehearsals for the new Vienna production of Tristan und Isolde begin, director Calixto Bieito does not want to talk about his concept for long. The stage world created by Rebecca Ringst and the costume designs by Ingo Krüger are known in outline from the earlier presentation; what he "otherwise said", says the director, is still valid. He means his hints from the first presentation, hints about how Tristan and Isolde have a shared history, a secret, how they tried unsuccessfully to free themselves from each other, how they meet again. And that it is an incredible play about love.

It is the duet in the second act. The challenge that Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde poses to any scenic approach culminates here in forty minutes in which love is exaggerated to metaphysics, in which two figures do not merge in song and music, but synthesize in song into something completely different: the two night figures create their own reality from love as Wagner conceives it.

With this opera, Richard Wagner created the key work of musical Romanticism, as evoked by E. T. A. Hoffmann: "Glowing rays shoot through this realm of deep night, and we become aware of giant shadows that rise and fall, enclose us tighter and tighter and destroy us, but not the pain of infinite longing". At the same time, Wagner pushed open the door to musical modernism, because through the independence of chromaticism and the emancipation of dissonance, the harmonic tension - symbolic of erotic tension - is denied resolution. This is only achieved in the Liebestod, in which the dying Isolde hallucinates the resurrection of the dead Tristan.
Calixto Bieito, one of the most influential music theater directors of recent decades, is tackling this work for the first time. His works always focus on the creaturely, deadly corporeality of his actors. It should be exciting to see them in battle with Wagner's Tristan theorem.

© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsoper

Spotify Playlist

This production is sponsored by


Tickets for our standing room can be purchased online or at the Bundestheater box office from 10 am on the day of the performance. BundestheaterCard holders can book standing room tickets online the day before the performance.

In addition, a fixed contingent of standing room tickets is available for regular evening performances from 80 minutes before the start of the performance at our standing room box office (Operngasse entrance).

Our operas are sung in the original languages - these vary depending on the work.

At each seat, subtitles in different languages can be switched on or off via a separate subtitle screen. In addition to the original language of the opera, you can choose from up to eight languages: German, English, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin).

In the event of a change of performance, you can of course return or exchange your tickets.

As changes to the cast cannot be ruled out due to illnesses or other hindrances of artists, there is no entitlement to a refund of the ticket price or exchange in this case.

Tickets cannot be returned or exchanged if you are not admitted to the auditorium due to being late (even after the interval).

About Your Visit


The cloakrooms are located next the the entrances at the Operngasse. You can find additional cloakrooms on the left and right side of the balcony and the gallery and in the boxes. All cloakrooms are free of charge.

Be on Time

We ask you to be on time when attending the performances.
Entry to the auditorium is not allowed after the performance has started. This also applied after the break.

Food and Drink

Our gastronomy opens at the same time entry is permitted. You can enjoy some snacks and drinks before the performance starts or you can book a table for the break.

Practical Information

You can find more practical information regarding your visit (e.g. Dresscode, barrier-free-access, …) here.


Discounts, Subscriptions, Cycles


The Vienna State Opera offers the following discounts:

  • Under 27
  • Children- & Youth-Tickets
  • BundestheaterCard
  • Ballett-Bonus
  • Ö1-Club
  • Culture Pass »Hunger auf Kunst und Kultur«
  • Disability ID
More info


Choose a week-day and your favorite seat and enjoy five performances.

  • 4x Opera, 1x Ballet
  • spread out over the whole season
  • up to 30 % discount compared to the regular ticket price
More info


Buy multiple performances as a package!

  • big selection of different cycles
  • bundled together by composers, artists or topics
  • spread out over the whole season
  • up to 10 % discount compared to the regular ticket price
More info