Ad by SaveLots | CloseLibretto, Dresden 1845
- The text was translated into French (by Charles-Louis-Etienne Nuitter and others).
- Venus, a role that in the Dresden version was considered a soprano, now calls for a mezzo soprano.
- Venus' aria "Geliebter, komm!" was transposed down half a step and was completely altered from "...wonnige Glut durchschwelle dein Herz". From this point the Dresden and the Paris version arias go in two different directions.
- A solo for Walther was removed from Act 2.
- Extra lines for Venus following Tannhäuser's "Hymn to Love" were added.
- The orchestral introduction to Act 3 was shortened.
- The end of the opera was reworked to include Venus on stage, where before the audience only heard the Venus motif. Wagner thought that prior to the change, audiences were confused about what was happening onstage.
- Riga on 18 January 1853, the first performance abroad.
- Prague on 25 November 1854 at Theatre of the Estates.
- New York on 4 April 1859 at the Stadt Theatre, the first performance in the United States.
- Timisoara on 13 January 1866
- London on 6 May 1876 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the first performance in England.
- Sydney on 14 January 1901 at the Royal Theatre, the first performance in Australia.
- Although the libretto and the score always use the single name Tannhäuser in stage directions involving the title character or in indicating which passages are sung by him, that name never appears as part of the lyrics. Rather, each character who addresses Tannhäuser by name uses the given name Heinrich.
- The distinct character Heinrich der Schreiber sings many melodies distinct from all other named characters, and occasionally unique lyrics. However, in the libretto he finds individual mention only in the list of characters, with the ensemble numbers that include him being labelled for the Ritter (i.e., "knights", referring to the Minnesinger, who all share knightly rank). The score (at least in the Schirmer edition) labels his melody line simply "Schreiber".
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast
20 October 1845 (Conductor: Richard Wagner)
Premiere Cast, 1861 (Conductor: Pierre-Louis Dietsch)
|Tannhäuser, a Minnesinger||tenor||Josef Aloys Tichatschek||Albert Niemann|
|Elisabeth, the Landgrave's niece||soprano||Johanna Wagner||Marie Sasse|
|Venus||soprano or mezzo-soprano||Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient||Fortunata Tedesco|
|Wolfram von Eschenbach, a Minnesinger||baritone||Anton Mitterwurzer||Morelli|
|Hermann, Landgrave of Thuringia||bass||Georg Wilhelm Dettmer||Cazaux|
|Walther von der Vogelweide, a Minnesinger||tenor||Max Schloss||Aimes|
|Biterolf, a Minnesinger||bass||Johann Michael Wächter||Coulon|
|Heinrich der Schreiber, a Minnesinger||tenor||Anton Curty||König|
|Reinmar von Zweter, a Minnesinger||bass||Karl Risse||Freret|
|A young shepherd||soprano||Anna Thiele||Reboux|
|Four noble pages||soprano, alto|
|Nobles, knights, ladies, pilgrims, sirens, naiads, nymphs, bacchants; In Paris version, also the Three Graces,
youths, cupids, satyrs, and fauns
- 3 flutes (one doubles piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba
- timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine
- 1st and 2nd violins, violas, violoncellos, and double basses
- cor anglais, 4 oboes, 6 clarinets, 4 bassoons, 12 horns, 12 trumpets, 4 trombones, snare drum, cymbals, tambourine
- Place: near Eisenach
- Time: early 13th century
- Naht euch dem Strande ("Draw close to the shore" – Venusberg Music)
- Geliebter, komm! Sieh dort die Grotte ("Come, beloved! See yonder grotto")
- Als du in kühnem Sange uns bestrittest ("When you strove with us in blithe song")
- Dich, teure Halle ("You, dear hall")
- Entry of the Guests (March) and Chorus (Freudig begrüßen wir die edle Halle) ("Joyfully we hail the noble hall")
- Beglückt darf nun dich, o Heimat, ich schauen ("With joy, my home, I now behold thee" – Pilgrim's Chorus)
- Allmächt'ge Jungfrau, hör mein Flehen! ("Virgin Almighty, hear my plea!")
- Willkommen, ungetreuer Mann ("Welcome, unfaithful man")
- Heil! Heil! Der Gnade Wunder Heil! ("Hail the miracle of grace!" – includes "Younger Pilgrims' Chorus")
- O du, mein holder Abendstern ("O thou, my gracious evening star")
- Inbrunst im Herzen (Rom-Erzählung)