Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, two colossal stars from the world of international opera, will be appearing with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) in a one-off concert performance of excerpts from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde in Hobart on Saturday 19 November.
Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton will be performing in Hobart fresh from their triumphs in the same opera at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where Tristan and Isolde opened the 2016-17 season on 26 September for a six-performance run and had critics reaching for superlatives.
Nina Stemme’s engagement is a coup for the TSO as this concert will be her first and only appearance in Australia.
Sydney-born tenor Stuart Skelton, who was awarded “Best Male Singer” at the 2014 International Opera Awards, has never sung the role of Tristan in Australia, so many Australian opera fans are looking forward to the Hobart concert, especially since he has won tremendous acclaim for the role not only in New York but also in London and Baden-Baden.
Swedish-born Nina Stemme is widely considered the finest dramatic soprano of our times and was described by the New York Times as “the world’s reigning Isolde.”
Mezzo-soprano Monika Bohinec, who is an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, will be singing the role of Brangäne and, like Nina Stemme, will be making her Australian debut in this concert.
For the TSO, the concert performance of excerpts from Tristan and Isolde is a major undertaking and will necessitate the 47-piece orchestra being augmented by additional musicians.
Although relatively small by Wagnerian standards, certainly much smaller than Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, Tristan and Isolde nevertheless requires an orchestra of at least 60 musicians.