Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, June 29, 2013

One of the longest operas still performed, Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger tells the story of a Master Singers guild in Renaissance Germany. The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of the three-act opera features South African tenor Johan Botha as Walther von Stolzing, the charismatic young knight. Botha sings opposite Amanda Majeski, an American soprano who plays the heroine of the story, Eva Pogner.

Bass-baritone James Morris and Danish baritone Bo Skovhus play suitors who compete for Pogner’s hand in marriage alongside Stolzing. Chaos ensues amongst the guild of passionate singers who compete for musical honors as well as the beautiful Pogner. The production is conducted by Andrew Davis.

CAST:
Hans Sachs James Morris
Stolzing  Johan Botha
Eva  Amanda Majeski
Beckmesser Bo Skovhus
David  David Portillo
Magdalene Jamie Barton
Pogner  Dimitry Ivashchenko
Kothner  Darren Jeffery

CONDUCTOR: Sir Andrew Davis
STAGE DIRECTOR:  Marie Lambert
LYRIC OPERA ORCHESTRA & CHORUS
CHORUS MASTER:  Ian Robertson

Comments [7]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

To all who know the story, as the previous writer mentioned, EVA is the heroine that Walther prizes above all and seeks to win the prize to wed her. it is not a gay marriage ! DIE MEISTERSINGER is so unlike any other work of Wagner's oeuvre in that he makes use of counterpoint and humor and a boy meets girl story that with any other composer might just founder on triviality. By aligning a master's contest in singing with the prize being the hand of a beautiful maiden with music that alternates between philosophical contemplation, reverie, an outdoors nightime community neighbor against neighbor fist fight, a sprightly folkish dance of young apprentices, a magisterial martial march of the Masters of the Guild, overtures to the opera and to its third act which are masterpieces of descriptive sequential story line and in the latter case, like PARSIFAL's third act vorspiel in an absorbing contemptative meditative mood. Some simple folk would claim its the German version of Il Barbiere di Seviglia. One of my voice teachers at Juilliard was baritone MACK HARRELL who would sing the role of Kothner in the MET's DIE MEISTERSINGER along with the leading baritone roles including the title role in Ward's opera THE LAST SAVAGE premiere at the MET. TODAY'S BROADCAST was throughout well sung by the principals and the orchestra and chorus were tops. Congratulations to all concerned !

Jun. 29 2013 05:51 PM
Helene Spierman from Valley Stream

A comment to whoever wrote the synopsis of the opera displayed here: Eva's last name is indeed Pogner, but in the cast list, her FATHER is referred to as "Pogner," and Eva is "Eva." Any discussion of this opera, and the characters in it, calls her "Eva." Thus the description in the synopsis "Pogner’s hand in marriage" should have been "Eva's hand in marriage." Chaos most certainly would have ensued if Pogner had married Walther von Stolzing.

Jun. 29 2013 05:43 PM
concetta nardone from nassau

CBC: Thanks.

Jun. 29 2013 04:54 PM

CBC make sure you wear your helmet.

Jun. 29 2013 04:11 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Mr. Morris remarked at the beginning of the broadcast that HL Menken(?) considered this opera the greatest achievement of western man or something to that effect. Yada Yada Yada. I have been listening to this crashing bore for twenty years. Read the score.It must be me. Not enough sex and violence. OMG and long, long, very long. Will now leave this crashing bore and watch the Formula 1 race. Vroom, Vroom.

Jun. 29 2013 01:38 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

CBC: Hope you are well. Morris is a little long in the tooth but just might carry it off. Terribly humid. We did not get the 17 year cicada on Long Island. Very disappointed. I rather liked the din. I am old and do not know when I will hear them again if ever. Will have to content myself with Verdi, Wagner and Puccini. Auguri e saluti.

Jun. 29 2013 12:32 PM

CBC it's no longer susse Mai but I'll take Meistersinger in June. I feel bad for Morris. He was a great artist for so many yrs but I think Sachs is just a little beyond him.I can't wait for Pape to assume the role. I've heard 2 of his Wotans.He has all the notes but must now get under the skin of the character. Stay cool in this muggy town. All my best.

Jun. 29 2013 12:19 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.