The realm of the goddess Venus, where the mortal Tannhäuser has been residing as her lover, is dedicated to passion and sensuality. Finally becoming tired of these kinds of pleasures, he yearns to return to earth. With his plea to Mary, mother of God, Venus’s world disappears and Tannhäuser finds himself once again at the foot of the Wartburg. He hears of a prize-singing contest on the subject of love. In contrast to the other competitors who sing of the purity of feeling, Tannhäuser praises the pleasure of the senses. In the resulting uproar there are calls for his death. Elisabeth, whose heart he sought to conquer, offers her protection. He is sent to Rome to seek absolution. After months, the procession of pilgrims arrives without him. Elisabeth dies before Tannhäuser wearily returns, mortified that he has not received papal forgiveness. A miracle intervenes, and Tannhäuser’s sin is purged.
Grand romantic opera in three acts by Richard Wagner
In German language
Running time 4 hours 30 minutes
Premiere 29 Jun 1997