Producing Tristan (10:01)
Semir Zeki asks Peter Sellars about his concept for the character; it addresses questions in neurobiology. Sellars cites two distinctions in Zeki's work and reflects on limitations. He likes to stage Tristan because the character is unachievable; opera moves you to a synesthetic place.
Science, Love, and Moral Energy (10:40)
Zeki believes science is about curiosity and that art provides insight on how the brain works; desire and beauty are measurable. Sellars questions insight on perception. The men discuss love in terms of neurobiology and the production of Tristan.
Wagner Operas and Imagery (09:14)
Sellars discusses video images of Tristan during Act III and their impact when combined with Wagner's music; Wagner worked with Buddhist ideas. Sellars highlights concepts of perception and falling.
"Tristan und Isolde" (09:41)
Zeki and Sellars discus the imagery in the first act of the opera; every object is alive with memory. They reflect on the opera as a sacred work, color, and moral vision; Tristan exploits ambiguity.
Love and Death (11:33)
Sellars frames the context of Tristan and Isolde's characters in the first two acts. Zeki quotes from one of Wagner's letters to his father and reflects on the concept of death in the opera. The men discuss elements of love and Buddhist concepts.
Representations of Love and Heartbreak (11:08)
Biology promotes love and unification, but people remain separate. Zeki reflects on the procreative aspect and Wagner's purpose for writing "Tristan und Isolde." Sellars discusses the three parts to Act II and Tristan's issues with relationships.
Why Can Pain Be Beautiful? (08:18)
The only complete version of "Tristan und Isolde" Sellars directed was in Paris; Sellars considers directing the opera in the future. Zeki quotes a biological statement from Oscar Wilde. Sellars and Zeki consider suffering, art, and "the unobtainable."
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