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Le vin herbé


Cappella Amsterdam + Ulrike Quade Company + ICK Dans Amsterdam

Cappella Amsterdam, conducted by Daniel Reuss, will sing Le vin herbé with soloists Thomas Walker and Carolyn Sampson. This magical masterpiece by Swiss composer Frank Martin (1890-1974) will be performed in a contemporary setting directed by Ulrike Quade and created by artist duo Wandschappen, with choreography by Emio Greco | Pieter C. Scholten.

Le vin herbé is named after the 'herbal wine' that forges love between Tristan and Isolde in the medieval epic. In this heartbreaking love story, Tristan and Isolde are each destined to marry someone else. A cruel twist of fate, however, leads to them falling hopelessly in love with each other by accidentally drinking a love potion.

Frank Martin's chamber opera about tragic lovers is the antithesis of Richard Wagner's five-hour opulent performance. Compared to Wagner's behemoth, Martin's work of less than two hours is intimate. But it is not for nothing that Martin's version is called a worldly oratorio.

Martin's hypnotic composition and gripping story lend themselves perfectly to a multidisciplinary performance. In a frame narrative consisting of 22 tableaus, the stories of Tristan, Isolde and their predestined lovers Branghien and King Mark are told. With the embrace of song, music, visual theatre, puppetry, dance and design, this medieval story is mystically portrayed by two soloists, twenty-four choristers, eight musicians and six dancers. 

Photo: Anouk van Kalmthout