Germany, medieval times...
Things get epic at the Metropolitan Opera House as Otto Schenk's classic production of Wagner's monumental tale returns for the holidays, with Austrian tenor Andreas Schage in the titular role.
What is the story?
Damnation awaits those who have enjoyed the pleasures of Venus, none more so than Tannhauser, the court minstrel who lives in the Venusberg- the home of the legendary deity, and pledges his love to her. But when his desires are satiated and he begs to leave, his hostess turns sour and curses his name. Once freed and able to live the simple life he craves, he realizes that the mark of Venus does not easily wash away.
Upon returning to earth, he remembers his love for the pious Elisabeth and again woos her through song. But his brush with the goddess of love has made him controversial and his sensual songs do not fall well in this religious court. He sets out to meet the Pope and beg his forgiveness, but the curse hangs heavy in this controversial and provocative opera from Wagner.