This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Friday, 6 February 2015

New production of Wagner's Tristram and Odone

Wagner's great operatic love story, Tristram and Odone, was broadcast on the BBC last night, but so far the critical reaction has been hostile.


A more traditional Tristram and Odone.

Out went all the traditional features of this tale of doomed love. Tristram, no longer a heroic figure, was cast as a rather weak character who was terrified of nuns (it is claimed that a nun once called him "gay" when he was five years old).

Tristram Hunt

Eeek! I've just seen a nun!

Odone, the love interest, was played as an Italian princess who had been educated by nuns. She was known throughout the kingdom as a champion of orthodox Catholicism (or at least the bits she agreed with).

Cristina Odone

The Princess Odone.

Comic relief was provided by Galberich, a Jew-hating dwarf. This is a character borrowed from Wagner's Ring Cycle, and not generally regarded as part of the Tristram legend at all.

George Galloway

Bring on the clowns!

However, the story has been changed out of all recognition. Tristram does indeed die - or at least lose his political career - but little else is recognisable.

nun symbol

Tristram dies of shock when he sees a ship bearing the black "nun" flag.

Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson writes...

As a Wagner expert, I felt very disappointed by this production. Still, if it's available as an illegal download, I might just consider getting it!

Damian Thompson, Publisher of Spectator Religion, Society and Human Flourishing.

Judy Piranha

Sister Judy Piranha writes...

Coo-eee, Tristram!!?? (That's enough Sr Judy Piranha...)


  1. The Lycra-Tattoo Clown Mass is certainly an Od one.

  2. " a Jew-hating dwarf." Common, that's a bit hard. He was just indulging in a bit of gentle satire - but he couldn't do it against the Muslims now, could he?

  3. Ecclesiam, you old traddy barsteward. Got myself in a spot of trouble celebrating the end of "Dry January" while engaged in late night trolling, and have to do an apology letter to a jumped up Religious who thinks he's better than the rest of us. Tristram - feel free to borrow and adapt as necessary). Unfortunately Pa-in-law, the resident latinist, is dealing with the aftermath of an exploding poteen still down on the allotments. Be quick about it - I am just off on a half-term horse-riding holiday in Patagonia.

    Ave Impius Hunni!
    Mea culpa. Habeo cacoethes carpendi, loquendi
    et scribendi.

    Ignosco tamen - disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies
    Si quis autem ignorat ignorabitur redo. Ergo mea non culpa.

    Scio omnes episcopi Angliae. Vivunt mecum domi. Etiam mi felis , amicum tuum cinerarius amita. (Must check this bit as Google Translate does not deal well with apostrophes. Am I getting across the fact that my cat knows his aunt’s hairdresser?)

    Veniam ad te , et irritum facias fenestras. Brutum fulmen non est.

    Beati pacifici ect., ect.,

    Well - whaddaya fink?