Opera Scotland

Vin herbé Le vin herbé; The Drugged Wine; The Magic Potion

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Frank Martin (born Geneva, 15 September 1890; died Naarden, Netherlands, 21 November 1974)


Joseph Bédier, edited by the composer


Mediaeval Romance Le Roman de Tristan et Yseut in modern French (Bédier 1900)



First Performance (complete): Zurich (Tonhalle), 28 March 1942 (concert).

First Performance (staged): Salzburg (Landestheater), 15 August 1948.

First Performance in UK: London (Central Hall, Westminster), 30 January 1948 (concert).

First Performance in UK (staged): London (Jeannetta Cochrane Theatre), 1 April 1982.

First Performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Alexander Gibson Opera Studio), 4 March 2017.



Several composers were influenced to an overwhelming extent by Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. They produced large-scale romantic tragedies, all rarely performed, with the exception of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. None of them took up the challenge of using precisely the same subject matter. At last Frank Martin did so, and his piece could hardly be more different, composed for a chamber ensemble and lasting not much longer than one of Wagner's acts.

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