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Chicago Opera Theater presents The Love Potion

by Frank Martin

performed in English

The epic story of Tristan and Isolde, the fateful lovers who meet by deception, fall in love by magic, and pursue their love in defiance of heavenly and earthly powers is told through Martin's mystical and haunting score.

Le Vin Herbé (The Love Potion) premiered in 1942 and is based on The Romance of Tristan & Iseult, a retelling of the Tristan legend by historian and medievalist Joseph Bédier (published 1900). Martin uses 12 singers as both the soloists and as chorus, much in the manner of ancient Greek tragedy. A small ensemble of 7 strings and a piano support the mood and action of the drama. Martin fashioned a work in the greatest possible contrast to Wagner's work by using older text sources (including two Isoldes) and by creating an intimate chamber work with an medieval feel.

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