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Deutsche Oper Berlin
Seth Mease Carico: Biterolf
Tannhäuser longs to return from the realm of Venus to his terrestrial existence. Only by invoking the Virgin Mary does he manage to escape from the Goddess. Hermann of Thuringia and his assembly of noble huntsmen welcome the long-lost Tannhäuser. The prospect of being reunited with his beloved Elisabeth prompts him to return home. A song contest is held in Wartburg Castle with the aim of defining the essence of love. The invited contestants sing of the purity of the emotion while Tannhäuser praises the passion of Venus. His open avowal of lust infuriates the assembly, and they prepare to take up arms against him, but Elizabeth, herself wounded, manages to protect him. The Landgrave decrees that Tannhäuser must travel to Rome to atone for his sins. The pilgrims return without Tannhäuser, however; he alone has not obtained the forgiveness of the Pope. He faces eternal damnation; hoping to avoid his doom, he returns to Venus. The evocation of Elisabeth’s name brings him to his senses: confronted with her death, his unquiet soul finds redemption at last.