Tristan & Isolde

Tristan & Isolde

Choreography by Joëlle Bouvier


Le motif d’amour s’élève alors, pâmé d’extase, jusqu’au tendre enlacement et s’évanouit doucement.

Thomas Mann About Tristan und Isolde

Infos & Cast


Infos & Cast

25, 26, 27, 28 May 2022 – 8 pm
29 May 2022 – 3pm
at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices (BFM)

Duration: approx. 1h30 without intermission

Choreography Joëlle Bouvier
Scenography Émilie Roy
Costumes Sophie Hampe
Lighting Designer Renaud Lagier
Music Richard Wagner

Grand Théâtre de Genève Ballet

Created for the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève in 2015

Sponsored by :

In partnership with :


In May 2015, the Geneva Ballet received a standing ovation at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices for the first performance of “Salue pour moi le monde!” by Joëlle Bouvier. Despite the piece’s cryptic title, hardcore Wagnerians were immediately able to recognise the allusion to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, of which this ballet performance is a masterful concentrate. Since then, this production has become an essential part of the Geneva Ballet’s touring repertoire, under the title of Tristan & Isolde, which is more familiar to an international audience. To close its 2021-2022 season, the Geneva Ballet is reprising this production, as the last performance in the directorship of Philippe Cohen, who gladly recognises it as one, if not the most beautiful of all the productions he has brought to the audiences of Geneva and the world. “Greet the world for me!” is what Isolde asks her companion Brangäne, as soon as she has swallowed what she believes to be a fatal poison, but which is in reality a love potion, from which she will certainly die, but not without dragging Sir Tristan with her down into the abyss of love and death. This farewell to the world is all the more poignant when we know that it will burn in the epic inferno of a forbidden passion. When Philippe Cohen suggested the colossal theme of the medieval leg-end of Isolde and Tristan to her, in all the over-the-topness of its four-hour Wagnerian narrative, Joëlle Bouvier admits to having had some qualms. The Franco-Swiss choreographer was not convinced she could work with this music or enter “into the music’s material, its sublime and tortuous path”. By contrast with the Romeo and Juliet, which she created for the Geneva Ballet in 2009, Joëlle Bouvier follows the chronicity of Wagner’s score quite faithfully, high-lighting its iconic moments; in this way she amplifies its emotional intensity through movement and gesture. Set to the highlights of the classic Deutsche Grammophon version (1982) with Margaret Price, René Kollo and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, conducted by Carlos Kleiber, Joëlle Bouvier’s Tristan & Isolde is a story of intrepid lifts, transcendent duets and a scenography that cuts to the quick. A story with the power and eternity of the myth that Wagner took from the Middle Ages to awaken us to our modernity.


Tristan & Isolde at La Plage

Check out all the various events connected with the production.

45 minutes before the performance

45 minutes before the performance, meet Philippe Cohen (director of the GTG Ballet) and Joëlle Bouvier (choreographer) for a presentation of the production.
A brief introduction to remind you what the work is all about and what kind of magical, apocalyptic, critical or hyper-realistic worlds the people behind the production have in store for you.
45 minutes before each performance
Free admittance with performance tickets

Public Rehearsal
Saturday, May 14

The Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève opens to the public one of the last rehearsals of Tristan & Isolde and allows the public to discover the work of the dancers on some excerpts of this ballet which has become one of the jewels of the company’s repertoire.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Bâtiment des Forces Motrices (BFM)
Doors opening: noon
Rehearsal begins: 12:30pm
Free admission
Limited number of seats

Thurday, May 19 at 6:30PM

About Tristan & Isolde
Around her Tristan & Isolde, the choreographer Joëlle Bouvier offers us a fugitive vision on Richard Wagner’s melodies with, in the honor, the Ukrainian artists that we welcome in the company. An apéroballet in the depths of the Grand Théâtre, sheltered from the dangers of the world, for a suspended moment saved from yesterday’s world, in the shadow of the Bayreuth amphitryon and some of his eminent visitors.
Thurday, May 19, 2022
At 6:30PM
Entrance fee CHF 25 (first drink included)
In the foyer of the GTG

Richard Wagner – Wesendonck Lieder
Stehe still! (Krystyna Bykhovets, Veronika Khorozova : danse ; Joëlle Bouvier : chorégraphie ; Natalia Ruda : mezzo-soprano ; Réginald Le Reun : piano)
Im Treibhaus (Natalia Ruda : mezzo-soprano ; Réginald Le Reun : piano)

Gabriel Fauré / André Messager – Souvenirs de Bayreuth (Jean-Paul Pruna, Réginald Le Reun : piano quatre mains)

Richard Wagner / Franz Liszt : Transcription de Elsas Brautzug zum Münster, de Lohengrin (Jean-Paul Pruna : piano)

Public Workshop
Saturday, May 21 at 11AM

About Tristan & Isolde
Come discover the choreographic language of Joëlle Bouvier, choreographer of Tristan & Isolde, during a contemporary dance workshop led by Fernanda Barbosa, teacher and former dancer of the GTG Ballet. No requirements to participate, just comfortable clothes and a good pair of socks! The workshop is open to everyone, including children aged 8 and up accompanied by an adult who is also participating.
Saturday, May 21, 2022
At 11AM
Entry CHF 15.–
CHF 10.– (up to 12 years old)
At the GTG


En coulisse
Friday, May 27

Haven’t you ever wondered what it’s like on the other side, when the curtain falls on a performance? How does all the technical machinery work? What do the stagehands have to do to get things back into working order? Or maybe just bump into one of the stars of the show?
So let us raise the curtain on all this for you. With every production, we give our patrons an opportunity to come backstage with us, raise their eyes to the flies and take a good look at what’s behind the sets. It may be dark in the wings but there’s a whole lot going on there! And because it’s a really busy place, we can’t really do this more than once per performance run. You will need to book your visit beforehand, so don’t delay!
A member of the theatre staff who can answer all your questions and show you some of the very impressive features of our opera house takes you backstage for free.
After the May 27 performance, a member of the theatre staff who can answer all your questions and show you some of the very impressive features of our opera house takes you backstage for free.
The “En coulisse” tour lasts about 20 minutes, starts 15 minutes after the performance, is free of charge on prior reservation with our box office service by email [email protected].


2021-2022 Season

Find the complete program of the new season.
Titanic, a film by Pauline Julier
In response to the season header “Make Love, …”, Pauline Julier produced Titanic, a searing vision of a sinking world where the show does go on.
Make love…
Presentation, interview of artists, explanations… all you need to know and understand about the new GTG program.


The entire GTG universe. Here, there, everywhere.

Stay connected with the GTG

Ma Newsletter

Crédit photos
Tristan & Isolde © GTG / Gregory Batardon