Opera 100: An opera synopsis in just one hundred words!

Composer: Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Librettist: The composer
Tannhäuser escapes Venus’s realm of bacchanalian excess. Wolfram leads him to the Wartburg, reuniting him with Elisabeth, the Landgrave’s niece. Minstrel knights then sing of Love’s purity, provoking Tannhäuser to recklessly extol carnality and the Venusberg. Elisabeth protects him from the scandalised knight’s swords. The Landgrave expels him until he gains Papal absolution. The mournful Elisabeth rejects Wolfram’s advances. Encountering Tannhäuser, Wolfram hears of the Pope’s damnation. Venus returns to claim Tannhäuser, but Wolfram reveals Elisabeth’s fidelity to him as her funeral procession passes. Tannhäuser invokes Elisabeth’s heavenly intercession. Pilgrims reveal the Papal staff has flowered – thus Tannhäuser is redeemed.


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