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17 May 2023

20 May 2023

Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne


Sung in German with English surtitles.

Running time

Approximately 4 hours, including two intervals.

Production partner

Henkell Brothers Logo

Before Eurovision, there was the Wartburg Song Contest. Eurovision could only wish for this much drama!

Imagine basking in the adoration of Venus herself. Our minstrel-knight Tannhäuser has found a paradise of passion and pleasure with the goddess of love and beauty. Life is perfect. Until, he gets bored – and homesick.

Venus banishes him. Much to the joy of his friends and former love Elisabeth, Tannhäuser finds himself in Wartburg and enters the upcoming song contest. Only, he is unable to forget the sensuous realm of Venusberg, and praises Venus in song. Horrified, the crowd turns on him, insisting he atone for his sins with a pilgrimage. Elisabeth prays for his soul as Tannhäuser seeks salvation in Rome. Will he be absolved, or are Venus’ charms impossible to resist?

Understatement was never in Wagner’s vocabulary. His works are epic in scale, mythical of storyline, and radical in their orchestration. Tannhäuser is no exception.

From its thrilling overture to its shattering climax, Wagner’s exploration of love, religion and redemption through German folklore has fascinated and entranced audiences since its scandalous premiere.

Presented in concert at Arts Centre Melbourne, Wagner’s magnificent orchestrations are conducted by Asher Fisch and gloriously played by Orchestra Victoria. Featuring our own “Pilgrim’s Chorus”, the Opera Australia Chorus, this is ‘Romantic grand opera’ at its legendary best.

Cast & Creative

Lighting Designer
Landgraf Hermann
Wolfram von Eschenbach
Walther von der Vogelweide
Heinrich der Schreiber
Reinmar von Zweter
Four Pages

Opera Australia Chorus
Orchestra Victoria