Tristan und Isolde

black-and-white photo of soprano Birgit Nilsson in front of a mirror
Svenskt Pressfoto / Wikimedia Commons

Born May 17, 1918, Birgit Nilsson was an extraordinary Swedish soprano.

Gregor Hohenberg / Sony Classical

There may be a phantom of the opera in literature, in the movies and on Broadway. But in recent years, tenor Jonas Kaufmann has risked being labeled the phantom tenor.

The Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera begins a new season of live in HD transmissions from the Met stage in New York to cinemas worldwide with their new production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Saturday October 8th at noon.

Wikimedia Commons

There are learned people who divide the history of western music of the past 500 years into two categories: before and after Tristan.

Richard Wagner's three act music-drama, Tristan und Isolde, had its first performance on June 10, 1865.

We'll celebrate this great work's birthday on Saturday's Opera and More at 1 p.m.

But after all, folks, its only an opera. What's all the fuss about?

Wagnerians and Vegetarians: And the Rest of Us

Sep 8, 2010
Bob Rhubart

I was recently reading "The Face on Your Plate" by Jeffrey Mousaieff Masson, who has written eloquently about the emotional lives of animals in other books, such as "When Elephants Weep" and "The Pig Who Sang to the Moon."

In his most recent book, he makes a strong case for not eating meat (or eggs or dairy products, for that matter) based largely on ethical concerns about the exploitation and mistreatment of animals (but he also discusses the environmental and human health issues involved).

Although this is not the forum for discussing the pros and cons of vegetarianism versus meat-eating, I couldn't help but wonder whether this issue was of concern to any classical music composers or performers in the past and if it affected their art. I was a little surprised where that led me.