Listen: Wagner's Meistersinger from San Francisco

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Saturday, September 03, 2016

Sasha Cook, Alek Shrader, James Rutherford, Rachel Willis-Sorensen and Brandon Jovanovich star in Wagner’s 'Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.' Sasha Cook, Alek Shrader, James Rutherford, Rachel Willis-Sorensen and Brandon Jovanovich star in Wagner’s 'Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.' (Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera)

Tune in Saturday at 1 pm for a full afternoon of Wagner's comic masterpiece, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, starring James Rutherford and Brandon Jovanovich.

Leaving the realm of Valhalla for a modest city in Germany, Wagner weaves together a story about the power of love and art. When an aspiring singer, Walther, arrives in Nürnberg, seeking to impress the city's master singers and win the heart of a young maiden, he finds resistance. Enter, Hans Sachs, the venerable shoemaker, who takes Walther under his wing and helps him hone his talents. 

The Wagnarian Sir Marc Elder leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The strong cast also includes Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Sasha Cooke and Alek Shrader.

Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
Walther von Stolzing: Brandon Jovanovich
Eva: Rachel Willis-Sørensen
Magdalene: Sasha Cooke
David: Alek Shrader
Sixtus Beckmesser: Martin Gantner
Veit Pogner: Ain Anger
Fritz Kothner: Philip Horst
Kunz Vogelgesang: AJ Glueckert
Balthasar Zorn: Joel Sorensen
Augustin Moser: Corey Bix
Ulrich Eisslinger: Joseph Hu
Konrad Nachtigall: Sam Handley
Hans Schwarz: Anthony Reed
Hermann Ortel: Edward Nelson
A night watchman: Andrea Silvestrelli
Hans Foltz: Matthew Stump
An apprentice: Laurel Porter

San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Sir Mark Elder, conductor

Comments [13]

Concetta Nardone from Nassau

@Ted: beautiful comments. Yes, music does this. I grew up and would listen enthralled by great music. Also lucky that we also listened to Italian radio which would broadcast the beautiful Neapolitan songs with lovely poetic lyrics.
Best wishes

Sep. 04 2016 06:57 AM
Ted Cerame from Perris, CA

I agree that the music counts most. For decades I have been listening without viewing or understanding the languages, nor interested in the plot and thus the music alone moves me to great heights of appreciation. Music is a universal language. Why?
Because it is the music that moves us to soar to mountain peaks and fly through the universe. We sit far away from the Opera house in our room, eyes closed and listen, and learn, and grow with understanding and love. If the music does not uplift the spirit/mind all the unique staging amounts to a waste, an abstract meaning nothing. Please and thank you. And good listening fellow Opera lovers.

Sep. 03 2016 06:17 PM

That's how you sing Sachs. Reminds me of a yound Morris or Theo Adam.

Sep. 03 2016 05:57 PM

cbc: I like the revisions. Let's hear it for violence.
Best wishes

Sep. 03 2016 04:22 PM

As for the Ring, there's nothing but human emotions in that work. You don't think that the "gods" have different emotions. Everyting in the Ring is boils down to human emotions, it doesn't matter what costumes they are wearing or character they are - it's ALL human emotions.

Sep. 03 2016 04:17 PM

Sorry to disagree with you Nick but I can listen to Wagner's great music anytime. It's the music that's 1st, the singing, the emoting - staging etc is second to that. Try to put Meistersinger on as a play with no music. It's the music which makes it a great work. You mean the prelude of Lohengrin doesn't move you? The talk to Toscanini who said he wnt hoem & cried after hearing that piece or Sibelius who stay in his room for a week trying to take in everything n that one short piece of music.The music moves you not the staging.

Sep. 03 2016 03:50 PM

CBC How about we have Sachs kill Beckmessser in Act 3, then , in a rage he dispatches Walter after Walter refuses the Meister medal & carries Eva away as Des Grieux does in Act 1 of Manon Lecaut. We could also have much physical damage during the riot scene in Act 2. Let's work on "verismo" revisions.

Sep. 03 2016 02:43 PM
Nick from Tampa

This is the only Wagner opera that I can appreciate. It deals with real people in human situations rather then mystical gods and other improbable story lines. Not to take away music from other Wagner works, but opera is theater first and music second. We can enjoy his music with recordings and not being bored with over long staging.

Sep. 03 2016 02:40 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Beduzzo Cavanaugh: Not one of my favorites. Have tried many times to listen to this. Not enough murder, mischief and mayhem.
Best wishes

Sep. 03 2016 02:34 PM

Uncle Charlie, just don't listen. I think it is a magnificent work.

Sep. 03 2016 12:55 PM

Pure torture.

Sep. 03 2016 12:18 PM

CBC one of my favorites but I don't know the Sachs. It will be interesting to listen.

Sep. 03 2016 12:07 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

The never-ending opera. On and on.

Sep. 03 2016 09:30 AM

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