The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 11, Episode 1 - Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - full transcript

Westward roams my gaze...
eastward sails our ship.

A brisk wind takes us home.

My Irish lass, where can you be?

Is it your sighs that fill the sails?

Blow, blow, you winds....

Woe is you, my lass!

My Irish lass... my wild, passionate lass!

Who dares to mock me?

Brang?ne... where are we?

The eastern sky is streaked with blue.

The ship is moving briskly.
We'll reach land before evening.

What land?

The green shores of Cornwall.

Never! Not today! Not tomorrow!

What are you saying? My lady!

Tainted race, unworthy of your lineage!

Why did my mother give up
her power over storm and sea?

Now her weakened magic is only fit
for brewing soothing potions.

Rise again, bold powers!
Rise up within me!

Hear me, cowardly winds!

Let the battle be joined,
and the tempest rage!

Let it rage without ceasing!
Wake the sea from its sleep!

Wake the hunger in its depths.
Show it the prize that I offer!

Destroy this ship and devour it whole!

Devour it and all those upon it.
Let the winds take it as a prize!

I have been filled with foreboding.

Isolde, my lady... dearest!
What have you been keeping from me?

You shed no tears for your parents,
or the others you left behind.

You left without emotion,
keeping silent throughout the journey...

refusing food and
sleep, in deep despair.

I've seen you look upon
even me as a stranger.

Tell me what is tormenting you.

Isolde, my lady... dearest!

Show me I'm worthy.

Confide in me.

I can't breathe!

A brisk wind takes us home.
My Irish lass, where can you be?

Is it your sighs that fill the sails?

Blow, blow, you winds....

Woe is you, my lass!

Destined for me,
and now lost to me forever.

Brave and noble... hero and coward!

Head and heart...

both consecrated to death.

What do you think of him?


The hero...

the one who avoids my gaze.

What do you think of him?

Do you mean Tristan...

the famed warrior,
the hero without equal?

The one who avoids battle?

The one who's always hiding, because
he's won a corpse bride for his king?

Do my words confuse you?

Ask him if he dares to approach me.

The fainthearted hero
forgets the respect due his lady...

and will not meet her gaze.

He knows the reason why.

Go tell the proud one what I've said.

Shall I ask him to come to you?

Let him come and learn to
fear his mistress Isolde!

Tristan-she has a message from Isolde.

From Isolde?

A message for her loyal servant?

Sir Tristan, my lady Isolde
wishes to speak with you.

If she is tired from the journey,
tell her we're almost there.

We will reach land before sunset.

Then whatever my lady
commands will be done.

Then go to her, Sir Tristan.
That is her wish.

There, where the green fields
seem tinged with blue...

my king awaits his bride.

I will escort her to his side.
This privilege will be mine alone.

Sir Tristan, serve her by going to her now.

I am honored to serve her,
the glory of all women.

But if I left the helm, who would
guide us to meet King Marke?

Sir Tristan!
Why do you ridicule me?

If what a servant says is not clear to you,
hear my lady's own words.

She said to tell you...

"Let him come and learn to fear
his mistress Isolde!"

May I answer her, sir?

What would you say?

Tell Isolde this....

The one who bestows Cornwall's
crown upon the Irish lass...

cannot be at her beck and call.

Tristan is a hero.
A lord of the earth!

Tell her this is what I say,
even if a thousand Isoldes resent me!

Morold sailed to Cornwall,
for tribute to be paid.

On a barren isle out at
sea, in his grave he's laid.

But his head was sent to Ireland
as tribute paid by English lands.

Aye, our hero Tristan pays
all tribute on demand!

His head was sent to Ireland...

Aye, our hero Tristan pays
all tribute on demand!

Must I endure this?

What about Tristan?
Tell me what he said.

Do not ask!

Speak without fear.

He evaded me with courtesy.

And when you pressed him?

When I asked him to come to you...

he said he's honored to serve you,
"the glory of all women."

But if he left the helm,
how could he guide us to meet King Marke?

How could he guide us to meet King Marke...

to pay him the tribute
he's wrested from Ireland?

When I repeated your command,
he let his servant Kurvenal reply.

I heard every word.

Perhaps you can sense my shame.
I'll tell you the cause of it.

I could answer their mockery and
their songs with a story of my own.

I'd tell them of a battered boat
washed up on Ireland's shore...

and how a dying man lay within it.

Isolde's art was revealed to him.

With healing salves and balms,
I tended the wound that tormented him.

He called himself "Tantris,"
but I soon realized he was Tristan.

There was a nick in his weapon,
into which a splinter fit exactly...

the splinter I found in Morold's head,
sent back to Ireland in mockery!

A cry arose from the depths of my soul!

I stood over him with the weapon,
ready to avenge Morold's death.

He looked up from his sickbed...

but not at the weapon, or at my hand.

He looked into my eyes.

I took pity on his suffering...

and I let the weapon fall.

I healed the wound Morold gave him...

so that he could return home...

and torment me no more with his gaze.

How could I have been so blind?
He was the guest I helped to tend!

You heard their praise,
"Our hero, Tristan."

He was that wretched man.

He swore a thousand vows
of gratitude and loyalty.

Now see how a hero honors his vow!

The one I let escape as "Tantris"
boldly returned as Tristan.

He came on a great ship,
seeking Ireland's princess...

as bride for Cornwall's
aging king, for Marke, his uncle.

If Morold were alive,
who would dare insult me like this?

How dare the Cornish prince,
our vassal, covet Ireland's crown!

God help me,
I brought this shame upon myself!

I could have taken revenge
as I held his weapon...

but powerless, I let it fall.

Now I serve my vassal.

When peace was pledged that day,
we all rejoiced.

How could I know that it
would bring you sorrow?

Blinded eyes! Timid heart!

Such cowardice, such fearful silence!

How eagerly Tristan proclaimed
what I had kept concealed.

I kept silent to protect
him from his enemies.

That silence saved his life.

But he betrayed that silence.
And Isolde as well!

He must have reveled in his triumph
as he spoke of me.

"She is a treasure, my lord and uncle.
Would you like her for your bride?"

"I will deliver this Irish beauty.
I know the way well."

"One word, and I'm off to Ireland.
Isolde is yours!"

"I'll enjoy the adventure!"

Curse you, traitor!

A curse upon your head!

Revenge! Death!
Death to us both!

Sweet lady! My dearest!

Beloved mistress... dear Isolde!

Listen! Come, sit down!

What is this madness?
Has rage blinded you completely?

Could Tristan give you greater thanks
than this glorious crown?

In serving his uncle, he gives you
the world's most coveted prize.

He lays his own inheritance at your feet...

to greet you as Queen.

And if he sought Marke to be your husband,
how can you scorn his choice?

Isn't Marke worthy?

Marke is noble and kind.
Who could equal his fame and power?

He is served by a noble hero.
Who wouldn't wish to share his fortune?

Who wouldn't want to be his wife?

I'll be unloved,
and with him always in my sight.

How could I bear such torture?

What do you mean, unloved?

What man wouldn't love you?

Who wouldn't be captivated
by the sight of you?

Even if your betrothed
could be cold to you...

or turned from you by witchcraft,
I would know what to do.

I would summon the power
of love to snare him!

Don't you know your mother's art?

She is wise about all things.

Would she have sent me with you unprepared?

I know my mother's art.

I embrace and cherish it.

Revenge for treachery...
relief from this torment.

Give me the vials.

They hold the remedy you need.

Your mother sent many powerful potions.

Balms for wounds...

and antidotes for poison.

And this, the most wondrous one.

You're wrong.
I know a better one.

I marked it clearly.

This is the potion that I need!

A death potion!

Make ready for port!

Our journey's almost over.
We're nearing land.

You women, prepare yourselves!

Look lively!

Tristan asks me to tell the lady Isolde...

our ship is flying a festive flag.

It announces that you'll
soon arrive at Marke's castle.

He asks that the lady Isolde
prepare to be escorted to King Marke.

Give Tristan my greeting,
and tell him this....

If I am to go with him
to greet King Marke...

he must first atone for his offense.

That is only proper.

Let him ask my forgiveness.

Tell him exactly what I have said.

I will not prepare to
accompany him ashore...

nor will I stand at his
side before King Marke...

unless he asks my
pardon for his offense.

Only then will I forgive him.

I will tell him this.
Let's see how he receives it!

Goodbye, Brang?ne! Greet our people for
me, and father and mother.

What are you planning?
Where are you going?

Didn't you hear?

I will remain, and wait for Tristan.

Do as I tell you.

Prepare the drink of atonement.

Which vial?

The one you're holding!
Pour it into the glass.

-Do I hear you right?
-Do as I say.

-Who is it for?
-The one who deceived me!

Have pity on me!

You must have pity on me, traitor!

Do you not know my mother's art?

Would she who knows all
have sent you with me unprepared?

She sent balm for wounds...

and antidotes for poison.

And for the most terrible pain...

she sent a drink that brings death.

Let death now thank her.

O deepest sorrow....

Will you obey me?

Hopeless grief!

Will you obey?

Sir Tristan!

I will see Tristan now.

What is my lady's wish?

If you do not know,
why have you avoided my gaze?

Respect for you held me in awe.

You showed little respect
when you ignored my summons.

Duty alone held me back.

I can't be grateful to your lord
if he allows this insult to his bride.

In my country the bride's escort
must keep his distance.

What fear dictates this?

It is our custom.

Since you're so mindful of custom,
Tristan, let me remind you....

"To gain a friend,
you must first reconcile with your enemy."

Who is my enemy?

Let your fear answer!

A debt of blood still separates us.

It was settled.

Not between us!

We swore peace in an open field,
before all the people.

But I hid "Tantris" elsewhere...
when Tristan's life was in my hands.

You stood there, glorious and strong...

but what you swore, I did not.

I had learned to keep silent.

When you lay on your sickbed...

I stood over you, holding your weapon.

I kept silent. I stayed my hand...

but my mouth and my
hand made a silent vow.

Now I will keep it.

What did you vow?

To avenge Morold!

Does that still trouble you?

You dare to mock me?

That noble Irish hero was to be my husband.

I blessed his weapons.
It was for me that he fought.

When he died, my honor died with him.

In my grief I vowed...

if no man will avenge him,
I will do it myself!

You lay there, weak and in my power.

Why didn't I strike then?

You can easily answer that yourself.

I healed you so another could
strike you down-to avenge Morold.

Now foretell your own fate.

Since all these men are loyal to you,
who will strike Tristan down?

If your love for Morold is so great,
then take this weapon again...

grip it firmly and use it.

Do not let it fall.

That would ill serve your master.

What would King Marke say...

if I killed his truest servant,
who won him crown and country?

Remember what he owes you.
You've delivered his Irish bride.

Wouldn't he punish me
if I killed his prize-bearer?

Once I held this weapon
as I burned with vengeance.

You searched my gaze...

to see if I was a fitting
bride for King Marke.

But I let the weapon fall.

Now we will drink to peace.

All hands on deck!

Where are we?

Nearly there.

Tristan, will you drink to peace?
Will you?

The queen of silence has silenced me.
If I grasp what she conceals...

I conceal what she does not grasp.

I understand your silence.
You're evading me.

Do you refuse to make peace?

Did you hear the call?
We've arrived.

Soon we will stand before King Marke.

Don't you think it would please him
if you could say....

"My lord and uncle, look at her!
You couldn't ask for a gentler wife."

"I once killed her betrothed
and sent his head home to her."

"Yet, she kindly healed
the wound he gave me."

"My life was in her hands,
and she graciously restored it."

"She sacrificed her country's
honor to become your wife."

"In thanks, she offered me
the drink of reconciliation..."

"to wash away my guilt."

Drop anchor. Turn into the wind.

I know Ireland's queen well,
and the magic power of her arts.

Her balm once restored me.
Now I drink this, to be healed forever!

Hear my oath of atonement, given in thanks.

To Tristan's honor-his greatest truth!

To Tristan's torment-his bold defiance!

A heart's deception...
a dream of foreboding...

one solace in eternal mourning...

the drink of oblivion.

I drink it without hesitation!

Betrayed even here! Half is mine!

Betrayer, I drink to you!

Faithless beloved....

Wondrous woman!

Hail King Marke!

Cruel fate! Instead of a quick
death, eternal misery!

My deceit now bears its wretched fruit!

Did I only dream of Tristan's honor?

Did I only dream of Isolde's shame?

-Must I lose you?
-Do you reject me?

-Magic's deceit!
-Foolish anger!

Our hearts are borne to heaven.
Our senses pulsate with rapture!

Yearning passion... exultant longing!

Released from the world, you are mine!

I have to tell them!

Unfortunate ones, listen!

Hail King Marke!

Hail, Tristan, great hero!

King Marke is approaching with his court.

How eagerly he comes to greet his bride!

The king?

What are they saying, Brang?ne?

My lady, compose yourself!

Where am I? Am I still alive?
Which potion did I drink?

The love potion!

Tristan! Must I live?

Rapture tainted by malice...

bliss born of deceit!

Can you still hear them?
I can't anymore.

They're still near.
I can hear them.

Your fear deceives you.

You hear laughter in the gusting wind.

Your longing makes you
hear what you yearn for.

I can still hear their horns.

No horn sounds this sweet.

I hear the soft whisper of a fountain.

How could I hear that above
the call of the horns?

I hear only the rippling water
in the quiet of night.

My beloved waits to come to me.

Are you trying to keep him from me
by saying the horns are still near?

Listen to what I say!
Spies are lying in wait for him.

Because you are blind,
do you think the world doesn't see?

When Tristan's trembling hand
gave you to King Marke...

everyone noticed how
the pale bride wavered.

The kindly king blamed
your distress on the long voyage.

But I noticed one man who
kept his eye on Tristan.

Maliciously, he watched for something
to serve his purpose.

I often catch him watching,
scheming against you.

Beware of Melot!

Beware of Melot?

Isn't Melot Tristan's truest friend?

If my beloved is away from me,
he's with Melot.

The things I mistrust in
him only reassure you!

Melot's path leads from Tristan
to Marke... there he sows evil.

Those who planned this night hunt...

seek a prey bigger than you imagine.

Melot devised this scheme
to help his friend.

Why do you accuse him?
He cares for me more than you do.

He opens the path that you bar.
He helps end this agony of waiting!

Give the signal, Brang?ne!
Put out the light!

Give the signal and let night fall!

Night's silence descends over the world.

The heart is filled with sweet foreboding.

Put out the light,
or it will scare him away!

Let my love come to me!

I will leave the light
on, as a warning to you!

If only I had never given
you that fateful drink!

Only that once did I disobey you.

Had I blindly obeyed you,
it would have meant your death.

Instead, I have caused
you shame and suffering.

You fool.

Don't you know the power
of the goddess of love?

She rules the boldest spirits
and reigns over all the world.

She weaves life and death
from joy and sorrow...

turning envy into love.

I dared to take death's
work into my own hands...

but the goddess of
love wrested it from me.

Though I was meant for death,
love took me in her hands.

Whatever she has in store for me...

however this ends, I am at her command.

I shall obey her!

That potion may have
destroyed your reason...

but if you will not believe my warning,
just listen to me this once.

Do not put out the light tonight!

The goddess of love has
kindled fire within me.

She is the daylight of my soul!

Love's goddess yearns for night...

so she can glow brightly within my
heart, where you would quench the light!

Go keep watch!

I would put out this light
even if it were the light of my life!


Tristan... beloved!

-Are you mine at last?
-Can I believe it?

-Is it you I see, you I touch?
-Are these your lips, your eyes?

Is this a dream?

Bliss beyond measure!
Sweetest, rarest bliss!

Rapture unequalled and eternal,
unknown and unimaginable!

Heavenly joy, soaring far above the world!

So long apart!

So near, yet far!

Hateful distance-love's enemy!

Near yet far, cruelly divided!

Blessed nearness, desolate distance!

You in darkness, and I in the light.

The light-how long it stayed lit!

The sun had set, but it envied
the night, and lit a light...

outside my beloved's door,
warning me to stay away.

Your beloved put it out,
though her servant was afraid.

Protected by love's power,
I defied the daylight!

But banished day had its revenge.

What dark night showed,
you surrendered in regal daylight.

It left you to dwell alone,
shining in barren splendor.

How was I to bear it?

How can I bear it now?

We belong to the night!

Daylight can part us by deceit,
but not ensnare us with its lies!

We, whom night has granted sight,
mock the vain, boastful glare of day.

We won't be blinded by
its fleeting brilliance.

We who have learned death's deep secrets...

are not fooled by daylight's lies.

Fame, honor, power vanish like dust.

Amidst the mirages of day,
we long for one thing alone...

sacred night, where everlasting love,
the only truth, awaits.

Descend upon us, night of love.

Make me forget everything, so I might live.
Embrace me.

Free me from this world!

The last light is fading...

with all we thought, all we imagined...

all remembrance, and all dreams.

Twilight's glorious promise delivers
us from delusion, from the world.

The sun lies hidden in our hearts.

The stars blissfully shine on us.

Enfolded in your spell,
I'm transfigured in your gaze.

Heart to heart, lips to lips,
we are bound by a single breath.

My vision blurs,
blinded not by the world, but by ecstasy.

The world, lit by daylight's lies,
fades in its radiance...

for we ourselves are the world!

Blissful rapture, life and love made holy.

Free from delusion,
wishing never to wake again.

Alone, I keep watch in the night.

I watch over you,
you who are smiled upon by love.

Listen to the call of one
who foresees misfortune...

one who calls to you
to awaken from your dream.


Soon it will be dawn.

Do you hear her, my love?

Let me die.

Jealous sentinel.

I'll never wake.

Won't Tristan be wakened by the day?

Let daylight yield to death!

Are not both day and
death threats to our love?

Our love? Tristan's love?

Yours and mine? Isolde's love?

How could death ever threaten it?

If almighty death stood before me now...

how could its blows ever reach our love?

If I died for love...

how could that eternal
love ever die with me?

If his love can never die...

then how could Tristan die of love?

But our love,
is it not named Tristan and Isolde?

That sweet word, "and"...

the word that seals love's bond...

if Tristan dies, won't it die, too?

Death could destroy only
what threatens us...

whatever keeps Tristan
from loving Isolde forever.

But if the "and" were destroyed...

how could Tristan die
unless Isolde died as well?

Then let us die, joined as one...

united for eternity...

never waking, never fearing...

nameless, and embraced by love...

given entirely to each other
and living only for love.

Then let us die, joined as one...

united for eternity...

never waking, never fearing...

nameless, and embraced by love...

given entirely to each other
and living only for love.


Beware! Night gives way to day!

Must I listen?

Let me die!

Must I wake?

I'll never wake!

Must the day waken Tristan?

Let daylight yield to death!

Let us defy the threat of daylight!

Let us escape its deception forever...

never again to be
menaced by its morning rays!

Forever ours is the night!

Endless night... sweetest night!

Sublime night of love!

How could those it
embraces not fear waking?

Let sweet death banish all fear,
long-desired death in love!

Joined with you in devotion,
freed from the misery of waking!

How can I grasp it,
how can I leave it, this bliss...

far from the sun,
from the cry of separation.

No delusions, only yearning,
no more fear, only longing.

No sorrow, only oblivion...
enfolded in night's darkness.

Never parted, always one, all alone...

forever home in boundless
space of blissful dreams.

Tristan is Isolde, and Isolde is Tristan!

Never naming, never parting,
seeing anew, burning anew...

now and forever, joined as one...

our hearts aglow with
love's sweetest joy!

Save yourself, Tristan!

The bleak day dawns... for the last time.

I ask you, was I right to accuse him?

Do I keep my life,
which I staked as pledge?

I've shown you the proof!

I have saved your name from disgrace.

Saved my name?

Is that what you think?

Look at him,
the most loyal one of all.

Look at him-my truest friend.

His highest act of devotion
led to the most bitter betrayal!

If Tristan has betrayed me...

how could I ever hope
that Melot could heal my wound?

Phantoms of daylight,
false visions, begone!

You do this, Tristan... to me?

Where is loyalty,
if Tristan has betrayed me?

Where are honor and honesty,
if Tristan has forsaken them?

Virtue was Tristan's shield.

Where has it gone,
now that he has forsaken it?

Now that Tristan has betrayed me?

What use are the fame, honor,
and might you won for Marke?

What use are they,
if Marke must pay for them with his shame?

Did you think me ungrateful
when I bequeathed you my kingdom?

When my wife died childless...

you grew so dear to me,
I did not think to remarry.

Yet everyone in court
and country urged me...

they begged me to choose a queen.

You yourself pleaded with me
to grant the people's wish.

In spite of them,
in spite of you, I refused.

But then you threatened to leave forever...

unless I sent you
to win a new bride for your king.

And so I did consent.

Your courage brought me a wondrous wife.

Who could see her...

and not feel blessed
to call her his own?

A woman I couldn't have approached...

for whom I shyly forswore my desire...

though I knew she would
be a balm for my soul...

this beautiful,
exalted bride you brought to me.

By giving me this gift,
you made my heart vulnerable.

In that tenderest place
you have wounded me.

And I will never recover.

Why did you strike at me there?

Your treacherous venom now
sears my brain and my senses.

It kills my trust in my friend
and fills my heart with suspicion...

so that I spy on him at night...

putting an end to my honor!

Why must I suffer this hell,
from which there is no deliverance?

Why this disgrace...

for which no suffering can atone?

Who can reveal the secret,
the cause of what has come to pass?

Who can explain
this mystery to the world?

My king, I cannot tell you.

What you ask, you can never know.

Where Tristan goes,
will you follow, Isolde?

The place I speak of is
the land without sun.

It is the land of night,
from which my mother sent me forth.

In death she bore me
and sent me into the light.

The refuge of her love,
from which I was born...

that wondrous realm of night,
in which I first awoke...

this is what I offer you now.
I will go there first.

Whether you will follow faithfully...

it is now up to you to tell me.

When you took me to a foreign land...

I obediently followed.

Now you journey to your own land
to show me your birthright.

How could I fear that land,
which spans the world?

Tristan's home is Isolde's home as well.

Isolde will loyally follow,
if you show her the way.

Traitor! Stop them, my king!
How can you suffer this dishonor?

Who dares to stand against me?

He was my friend, he loved me well.

He defended my honor like no other.

He urged me to boldness,
to increase our fame and honor...

by bringing Isolde here
to be the king's bride.

He too was dazzled by the
sight of Isolde's glance.

Jealousy made him betray me-
to the king, whom I betrayed!

Defend yourself, Melot!


Tell me, friend... is he awake yet?

If he woke...

it would be only to leave us forever.

If only his healer would come.

Now only she can help him.

Did you see anything?
Is there any sign of a ship?

If there were a ship,
you'd hear a different tune-a joyful one.

Tell me the truth, old friend.
What ails him?

Don't ask, for you would never understand.

Keep watching, and if you see a ship,
play a cheerful tune!

The sea is desolate and empty.

That old melody...

why did it wake me?

Where am I?

That voice... his voice!

Tristan... sir!
He speaks... Tristan!

Tristan is restored to life at last!


Where was I... where am I?

In peace, free and safe!

We're at Kareol, sir.
Don't you know your ancestral home?

My home?

Look around you!

What was that music?

It was the shepherd who tends your flocks.

My flocks?

Yes, sir.
This is your castle... your home!

Your loyal servants have cared
for it as best they could...

after you left it to them
and departed for a foreign land.

What land?

Cornwall, where you won glory,
fortune and honor!

Am I in Cornwall?

No, in Kareol.

How did I come here?

Not on horseback!
A ship brought you here.

I helped you to the ship myself.

Now you're home again...

in your own land,
among the fields and forests you know.

In the warmth of the sun,
you can recover from your wound.

I'll recover? I know better...

but I can't tell you why.

I did not stay where I awoke...

but where I was, I cannot say.

I did not see the sun,
or land, or people...

but what I saw, I cannot say.

I was where I had been forever,
where forever I will go...

the vast realm of universal night.

There, only one thing is promised...

divine, eternal oblivion.

How was I drawn away from it?

Did a yearning voice
drive me toward the daylight?

All that remains is a burning love...

a love that drives me from
death's bliss into the false light...

the light that shines on you, Isolde!

Isolde, still in the sun's realm...

in the radiant light of day!

What yearning... what dread!

How I long for her!

I've already heard death's
door closing behind me.

Now it stands open again,
forced by the rays of the sun.

With eyes wide open,
I must emerge from the night...

to seek her, to find her...

the only one in whom
Tristan can cease to exist.

But now the wild passion of day
rises, pale and fearful.

It fills my brain with lies and madness!

Cursed, glaring day!

Will you forever be witness to my pain?

Does the light that kept me from her
always burn, even at night?

Isolde... sweet Isolde!

When will you extinguish it
and signal my happiness?

The light... when will you put it out?

When will night finally fall?

I once defied her out of loyalty.
Now I, too, long for her arrival.

Believe me, you'll see her here today!

I can comfort you with that,
as long as she still lives.

The light still shines.

It's not yet night, and Isolde lives.

She recalled me from the night.

If she lives, you must hope!

You may think me foolish,
but don't scold me.

You have lain as if dead
since Melot wounded you.

How could I heal your terrible wound?

I thought perhaps she who healed
one wound could now heal another.

She is the best healer,
so I sent to Cornwall for her.

My trusted man is sailing here
with Isolde right now!

Isolde is near!

Faithful one! Such loyalty!

My Kurvenal! Dearest, truest friend!
How am I to thank you?

My shield in battle,
my companion in joy and grief!

Those I hated, you hated...
those I loved, you loved as well.

When I served Marke,
you were truer to him than gold.

When I betrayed him,
you willingly did the same.

Never thinking of yourself,
you suffered when I suffered...

but what I am suffering now,
you cannot share.

This fierce, terrible longing...

this fire that sears me...
if I could name it, if you could know it...

you would not sit there.
You would race to the harbor...

straining with all your senses
to glimpse her ship...

to see Isolde, whose passion
drives her on to find me!

It's near... how swiftly it sails!
The flag flutters in the wind!

The ship! It's passing by the reef...
don't you see it?

Kurvenal! Don't you see it?

There still is no ship in sight.

Now I know the song's meaning...

that sad, ancient melody...

with its plaintive lament.

I heard it as a boy,
when I learned of my father's death.

I heard it again that grim dawn,
when I learned of my mother's fate.

He fathered me and died.

She died in bearing me.

This mournful tune...
they too heard its lament.

It asked me then, and asks me now:
to what fate was I born?

It tells me my destiny...

to yearn...

and to die.

No! That isn't so!

It says to yearn, even in death,
even as I yearn never to die!

It calls for the peace of death.

It summons my healer, far away.

I once lay dying in a boat,
the wound's poison nearing my heart.

I heard the song of yearning.

The wind carried the boat
to Ireland's daughter.

Brandishing the weapon,
she opened the wound that she had healed...

then she let the weapon fall
and gave me poison to drink.

I hoped it would heal me forever.
But it cast a devastating spell...

to never die,
but to face eternal torment!

The potion... that terrible potion!

How it ravaged my heart and brain!

Nothing can free me from this torment!

Nowhere can I find peace!

Night casts me into the daylight
for the sun to feast on my pain.

The sun's scorching rays-
how they burn and torment my brain!

There is no shelter from this searing heat!

What can relieve this agony?

That dreadful potion... I brewed it myself!

I brewed it with my father's grief
and my mother's suffering...

from lovers' tears since time began...

from laughter and
weeping, joy and sorrow!

I brewed it and drank it, blissfully.

And now I curse that terrible potion!

I curse the one who brewed it!

Sir... Tristan!
What dreadful spell is this?

Love's deceit! Love's power!

Sweet delusion, what have you done?

Here lies this noble man...

who has loved like no other.

See what love has won...
what it always wins for itself!

Are you dead? Or alive?

Has the curse taken you from me?

No! He stirs... he lives.

His lips are moving.

The ship... do you see it yet?

The ship will certainly arrive today.

It will be here before long.

And on it, Isolde.
She waves to me.

She raises her cup to me in reconciliation.

Do you see her?

How blessed and tender her face
as she travels over the sea.

She approaches on
glistening waves of flowers.

She smiles, bringing me
comfort and sweet peace.

Ah, Isolde!

How beautiful you are!

Kurvenal, go and watch for her.

I see her clearly-don't let her escape you!

Didn't you hear me?
Go and keep watch!

The ship! Isolde's ship!

Don't you see it?

What joy, my friend!

The ship! It comes from the north!

Didn't I say so?
She lives, and gives me life!

Since the world holds only Isolde,
how could she leave it?

How swiftly and surely she approaches!

She flies the flag of rejoicing!

By the light of day, Isolde!

Do you see her?

The ship has gone behind a rock.

The reef? Is she in danger?

Those waters are treacherous.
Many ships have sunk there!

-Who's at the helm?
-The best of seamen.

Is he Melot's man?

-Trust him as you do me.
-You betray me, too!

Do you see her?

Not yet.

They're lost!

Hey there! Ahoy!
There's the ship, safe and sound!

Kurvenal, my trusted friend,
all that I own is yours!

-They're fairly flying!
-Can you see Isolde?

Yes! She's waving!

Wondrous woman!

They've landed!
She's leaping onto the quay!

Hurry now, go down and help her!

I'll bring her to you, Tristan.

Stay here and rest.

This sun... this sun-drenched day of bliss!

My blood is coursing with life!

Indescribable bliss!

I must go where hearts are beating!

Tristan has been snatched back from death!

Once, though wounded, I fought Sir Morold.

Today, despite all, I'll win Isolde!

Blood-let it flow freely!

She's come to heal and save me!

Now let the world disappear!

Tristan... beloved!

Do I hear the light? The light!

The light's gone out. I'll go to her!

I am here, sweetest friend.

Hear my voice once more!

Isolde has come to die with Tristan.

Will you not speak?
Awaken for just an hour!

How I longed to spend
just an hour with you.

Why have you denied me this one
brief, final joy?

Let me heal your wound...

so that we can share the night.

Then let life's light
be quenched for us both!

His gaze is dimmed, his heart is still.

Not even the faintest breath.

Must she who came to marry you
now mourn for you?

Too late! Cruel man, why do you punish me?

Have you no pity for my grief?

May I not even give voice to my suffering?

Just once more!

He lives.


Kurvenal, another ship!

Damn them! To your posts!
It's Marke and Melot!

Marke and his men are after us.

While I live, no one shall pass!

Isolde! My lady!

Brang?ne! What are you doing here?

Let me in! Where is Isolde?

Are you a traitor, too? Then curse you!

Back, fool! Out of our way!

At last I can kill you!

Die, you miserable traitor!

I've been stabbed, Tristan!

Kurvenal, you're mistaken!

Traitor! Wretch!

Stop, madman!
Have you lost all reason?

Death rages here-and nothing else, King!

If that is what you want, come on!

Stand back, madman!

Isolde, my lady!

Isolde, you're alive?

Oh, deceit and madness!
Tristan, where are you?

He lies fallen... he is gone.


Isolde! No...

Tristan, sir...

don't chide me if I follow you.

All of them... dead!

My hero... my Tristan!

Must you betray me even now?

Today, when I come to prove
my devotion to you?


Awaken to my grief!

My faithless, faithful friend.

She wakes, she lives!

Isolde, forgive me.

I revealed the potion's secret to the king.

He hurried here to give
you to your beloved.

Why this... why, Isolde?

I was so happy to learn
that my friend was innocent.

I quickly set sail to reach you,
so you could marry him.

But the bringer of peace
was overtaken by the speed of misfortune.

I have added to death's harvest.

Madness has bred more sorrow.

Do you hear us, Isolde?

Do you hear your loyal servant?

How quiet and gentle is his smile...

how fond his gaze.

Do you see him, my friends?

Shining ever brighter...

he soars on high,
bathed in starlight!

See how his heart swells with pride...

how it beats,
brave and full in his breast!

How blissfully his lips part...

issuing a gentle, sweet breath.

Look... can't you feel it and see it?

Do I alone hear this music,
so soft and wondrous...

his blissful lament,
revealing all, forgiving all?

It pierces me, soars on high,
and echoes throughout the heavens!

Shimmering sounds swirl all about me.

Are they gentle breezes,
or sweetly scented clouds?

As they swell and enfold me,
do I dare breathe? Do I listen?

Shall I drink them in,
or be engulfed by their fragrance?

In their billowing sea,
their echoing sound...

in the surging vastness
of the world's breath...

I long to drown, to be lost...

in the rapturous bliss of oblivion!