A DARKER SIDE OF WAGNER’S MASTERPIECE - TRISTAN AND ISOLDE


A darker side of Wagner’s masterpiece, Tristan and Isolde: in 1911, an Austrian conductor Felix Mottl died in the orchestra pit during a performance of this opera; he was only 54. In 1968, the same happened again: the victim was a 60-years old German conductor, Joseph Keilberth. 


Being informed about these strange and mysterious incidents, Herbert von Karajan initiated a medical investigation which brought to light a possible cause of their deaths. An EKG was done during one of his rehearsals of Tristan. Its results were truly frightening: it showed an enormous stress level! Here you can see some sections from Karajan’s EKG as well as a photograph taken during the process.



Photo-Copyright: Karajan Archive