From Theatre in Chicago:
In Richard Wagner's epic opera, the renegade Tannhäuser is lured into the erotic realm of the love goddess Venus. There he luxuriates in lust and a host of sinful pleasures. But finally it's all too much and he longs to return home to Elisabeth, the chaste young woman who loves him, despite the grief he's caused. Desperate for absolution, Tannhäuser joins his fellow pilgrims, journeying to Rome to ask forgiveness for his sins. But once you've been to the Venusberg, you can never truly leave. Sir Andrew Davis, the Lyric Opera's principal conductor, is on the podium guiding today's most lauded Tannhäuser, tenor Johan Botha. It's a performance filled with both sensuality and majestic power, featuring the opera's famous overture and the frenzied bacchanal with its sexy ballet.