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The Tristan Survival Guide - Tips to surviving a long opera!

Tristan und Isolde runs from January 29 to February 23 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, and each performance is five hours long (including two 30-minute intermissions)! Here are some tips to surviving a long opera.


  1. If there's one thing that people know about Richard Wagner's operas, it's that they are long! Our production of Wagner's epic love story Tristan und Isolde is five hours (including two 30-minute intermissions) and it's understandable that the length is daunting to some. Thankfully, some COC staff and fans have advice to share for Wagner newbies!
  2. It turns out there are three steps to surviving Tristan und Isolde.
  3. Step #1 - Be Prepared!

  4. "Have a good meal beforehand so that your tummy noises aren’t competing with the special Tristan “Holtztrompete!” - Gianmarco Segato, Adult Programs Manager

  5. "Be prepared for the combination of Wagner's glorious music and  the genius of Bill Viola's videography to reach into the depths of you and pull you inside out!" – John Kriter, Communications Assistant, Creative & Volunteers
  6. And make sure you're preparing with the right source material.
  7. "Whatever you do, don't watch James Franco's 2006 film Tristan and Isolde!" – Danielle D'Ornellas, Digital Marketing Assistant
  8. Step #2 - Keep hydrated (but not TOO hydrated!)

  9. tristan-isolTristan und Isoldede500
    tristan-isolTristan und Isoldede500
  10. There is one thing that is for certain, washroom line-ups will be long! (Luckily, we have two intermissions...)
  11. And last but not least...
  12. Step #3 - Let it be!

  13. "Tristan und Isolde is like stepping into a warm bath, but with your clothes on! Sit back, relax and immerse yourself in Wagner’s potent mix of music and message. Like a good massage, the more you let go, the better the result." – Phil Stephens, Senior Manager, Sales and Customer Service