Richard Wagner

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Glyndebourne Festival

5 Stars The Daily Mail, The Daily Express

4 Stars The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Times

"…I don't think I've ever been so enveloped and transported by this glorious music as at Glyndebourne..." - Wall Street Journal

"…Finley's singing has never been more beautiful…an unforgettable performance." - Scotsman

"… perhaps the greatest joy of this evening was in hearing Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra weaving so rich and detailed a narrative. The playing was at times extraordinarily beautiful…." - Independent

"Gerald Finley is glorious: vocally right back to his volatile best, and exuding a mesmerising sadness, nobility and anguished stoicism."Times

"Glyndebourne thinks big with a Wagner staging to treasure." - Sunday Telegraph

"Power and passion with artistic flair." - Daily Mail

About the opera

A festive hymn to the transformative power of young love and natural talent, Wagner's warm-hearted Midsummer's Day comedy is a glorious celebration of art and the shared joy of song. It is a tale of a young knight who wins the hand of a goldsmith's daughter with the help of the canny cobbler-poet Hans Sachs.

Directed by David McVicar and conducted by the Festival's Music Director, Vladimir Jurowski, our first ever production of the piece fulfils the artistic dream of Glyndebourne's founder, John Christie.

Gerald Finley makes his role debut as Hans Sachs, with Festival debuts for tenor Marco Jentzsch as Walther, soprano Anna Gabler as Eva and baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle as Sixtus Beckmesser.

A new production for the 2011 Festival.
Sung in German with English supertitles.

This new production is supported by Jon and Julia Aisbitt and members of the Meistersinger Syndicate and Meistersinger Circle.

Read Director David McVicar's article about the period in which Wagner wrote Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Listen to the Die Meistersinger podcast:

Note: The historical Hans Sachs (1494-1576) was the most famous member of the Nuremberg guild of Mastersingers, made up of the city’s craftsmen and tradesmen – part of an amateur artistic tradition that flourished from the 14th to the 17th century in various German centres; the Nuremberg Mastersingers were finally disbanded in 1774. A shoemaker by trade, Sachs produced innumerable poems, songs and plays, many of which survive, though rarely with their original music. Some other characters in the opera – including Fritz Kothner, Konrad Nachtigall and Hans Foltz – also have historical originals.

Setting: Nuremberg, around the middle of the 16th century

Act I

At a service in St Catherine’s Church, the newcomer Walther von Stolzing and burgher’s daughter Eva look meaningfully at one another during the final hymn; Eva’s nurse Magdalene tactfully leaves them alone for Walther to pay his addresses. He learns that she is to marry the winner of the Mastersingers’ song contest, to be held the next day. 

David, Magdalene’s boyfriend, is charged with instructing Walther as to the complex rules of the contest, for which a preliminary trial is to follow immediately; he does so while the Mastersingers’ apprentices prepare the room. 

Eva’s father Veit Pogner arrives with the town-clerk Sixtus Beckmesser; the latter attempts to gain Pogner’s support in winning the contest and his daughter’s hand. To Beckmesser’s annoyance, Walther also announces his intention of entering. The Mastersingers assemble, among them the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs. Pogner describes his intention of honouring Art by giving his daughter and his goods as the song prize – though she must approve the winner.  

Sachs rules himself and Beckmesser out as too old to be contestants. Walther bravely presents himself, his trial effort to be marked according to the time-honoured rules by Beckmesser, who scrapes his marker’s slate noisily as Walther’s song proceeds. Sachs stands up for Walther, despite his ignoring of the rules. All ends in uproar as the meeting breaks up, with Walther storming out, the other Mastersingers outraged and Sachs left pondering what he has heard.

Short interval of 25 minutes

Act II

In the street where Pogner’s house faces Sachs’s, the apprentices hymn the eve of St John’s Day. David informs Magdalene that Walther blew his chances with his trial song. Sachs prepares to work outside in the warm evening on a pair of shoes, thinking again of Walther’s controversial singing.

Eva comes to sound him out as to the contest’s likely winner. She hints that Sachs could enter to save her from Beckmesser. He demurs. Will he then help the hopeless Walther win? Sachs appears to refuse this too.

Magdalene tells Eva that Beckmesser is planning to serenade her with his song. Eva proposes that Magdalene sit at Eva’s window instead. 

Walther arrives, disconsolate at his failure, and suggests that Eva elope with him. Sachs overhears, and decides to prevent this. 

Beckmesser arrives and tunes his lute. As Eva and Walther hide in preparation for their flight, Sachs noisily starts up his own song, hammering loudly on his last as he does so. Beckmesser invites his criticism of his proposed song, which Sachs agrees to give by hammering when he hears a fault. Beckmesser starts singing, trying to ignore Sachs’s banging. The noise awakens the neighbours and a general brawl develops, during which David and Beckmesser start fighting, and Sachs manages to push Eva back inside her house before dragging Walther into his. The battered Beckmesser slinks away.

Dinner interval of 85 minutes

Act III

David enters Sachs’s house next morning to find his master lost in a book; he belatedly remembers that it is Sachs’s own name-day. Left alone, Sachs ponders the illusion and madness of human existence, and whether he can resolve the problem of the song contest. 

Walther is now awake, having dreamed a beautiful dream. Sachs advises him to turn it into his Master-Song; he writes it down as Walther sings it. As they go into another chamber to dress for the contest, Beckmesser enters, finds the written-out song and, assuming it to be by Sachs, pockets it. Admitting that he has done so, he receives Sachs’s blessing to sing it.

Eva arrives, complaining that her shoe pinches her. Walther comes in, dressed for the contest, and sings the final verse of his Master-Song. Eva starts to weep. Sachs bursts out bitterly, comprehending both the temptation of Eva’s desperate proposition and its impossibility. Eva expresses her deep gratitude for his selfless concern, knowing that she is compelled to love Walther. As Magdalene and David appear, all join in a christening of Walther’s new creation before leaving for the competition.

On the banks of the River Pegnitz, the members of Nuremberg’s various guilds arrive and parade. Their apprentices dance with local girls. The Mastersingers themselves process, Sachs being warmly greeted by the populace. 

The contest begins. Beckmesser struggles through his version of Walther’s song, making a fool of himself and eventually running off. Walther now comes forward and sings triumphantly. As Eva proceeds to crown him victor, and her father presents him with the golden chain of a Mastersinger, Walther petulantly refuses to join the Masters. 

Sachs rebukes him, calling for holy German art to be preserved and honoured. As Eva takes the victor’s crown from Walther’s head and places it on Sachs’s, the people hail him.

Words: George Hall

Creative team

Conductor Vladimir Jurowski / Anthony Negus (10 June)
Director David McVicar
Designer Vicki Mortimer
Lighting designer Paule Constable
Movement director Andrew George
Fight director Nicholas Hall

Cast

Hans Sachs Gerald Finley
Walther von Stolzing Marco Jentzsch
David Topi Lehtipuu
Sixtus Beckmesser Johannes Martin Kränzle
Eva Anna Gabler
Magdalene Michaela Selinger
Veit Pogner Alastair Miles
Fritz Kothner Henry Waddington
Kunz Vogelgesang Colin Judson
Konrad Nachtigall Andrew Slater
Balthasar Zorn Alasdair Elliott
Ulrich Eisslinger Adrian Thompson
Augustin Moser Daniel Norman
Hermann Ortel Robert Poulton
Hans Schwarz Maxim Mikailov
Hans Foltz Graeme Broadbent
A Nightwatchman Mats Almgren

London Philharmonic Orchestra
The Glyndebourne Chorus

Audio files: 

Audio clips courtesy of EMI.

This recording is available to buy from the Glyndebourne Shop

2011 Festival production
The cast and Glyndebourne Chorus. Photo: Alastair Muir
The Glyndebourne Chorus. Photo: Alastair Muir
The cast and Glyndebourne Chorus. Photo: Alastair Muir
Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser and Gerald Finley as Hans Sachs. Photo: Alastair Muir
The Glyndebourne Chorus and circus performers. Photo: Alastair Muir
Anna Gabler as Eva and Alastair Miles as Pogner. Photo: Alastair Muir
Gerald Finley as Hans Sachs. Photo: Alastair Muir
Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser and Gerald Finley as Hans Sachs. Photo: Alastair Muir
The cast. Photo: Alastair Muir

Comments

Thank you for your Email. I adored seeing Die Meistersingers, it was a marvellous production. I have now been coming to Glyndebourne roughly twice a year, for over 40 years, and it was definitely one of the best performances ever ! I loved the dress in original costume, and NOT in modern dress ! Gerald Finley's Sach's was of course so beautifully sung and sympathetically acted. A marvellous performance. Also Beckmesser was superb, the most beautiful rich voice, with wonderfully funny acting. And of course the Orchestra with Jurowski with that amazing music was unforgettable. Altogether magical and special evening. I managed to come on about the one beautiful evening. What more can one ask?!! Ann Carr . P.s. In case you were interested, I didn't really think that Eva was quite up to the part, and not of the same quality as the others. Also perhaps Walther could have been better, but I'm being super critical. Sadly I didn't come to see the video first, it would have been Interesting.

I must concur with an earlier poster regarding the characterisation of Beckmesser and the portrayal given to that role by Johannes Martin Kränzle, which we saw on June 10th.
He was shown as an insecure and incomplete person, struggling to be successful with a second-rate talent - yet sung and acted by such a first-rate performer.
I, too, found my eyes drawn to him and away from the vibrant movement elsewhere on the stage.
His final departure - so much still in character and un-remarked and unloved - was indeed most poignant.
I felt that 'The Guild' was portrayed in this production as a firm, corporate entity, yet still made-up of individuals - rather than as simply a second, male chorus (which is sometimes the case) - but Gerald Finley's "masterful" performance was riveting, throughout.
He is truly a “Meistersinger”.
The conclusions of Acts 1 and 3 were so emotionally captivating - I never thought that Wagner would have had this effect upon me. Bravo !

My friend and I were blown away by the performances and production. My friend has seen this opera about 50 or 60 times (certainly seen the Ring cycle 60 times!!) and she suggested to me that if this was the first time I had seen it (and it was) then I should not go to another performance!!!! Thank you so much for such a wonderful evening - the weather as well - but of course it made the journey home really slow because of people's visits to the seaside.

Best wishes and grateful thanks to you all

I had a fantastic evening on Sunday. One of the most enjoyable opera nights in twenty years. I am not usually very interested in the production, as I come for the music, but this production really was wonderful. This seemed to me to be an evening where the pinnacle of culture was reached. I cannot get to Glyndebourne very often, but this was just perfect.

I have been coming to Glyndebourne since 1966, only live just down the road but this was the very best. It seems though that some of your reviewers of the 22nd June were not paying attention. James Rutherford was superb as a stand in Sachs. Didnt miss Findlay at all. Agreed that Alistair Miles was also outstanding. A superb performance by all and much enjoyed.
I did'nt go to sleep once. Honest!

Gerald Finley's Sachs was excellent and beautifully sung, lovely orchestral playing too. But a Walter who cannot cope with the Prize Song and a weak Eva was hardly up to Glyndebourne's usual casting.

We enjoyed your production very much indeed. I've been going to performances at Covent Garden and ENO for over 50 years so I am in a position to say that I found yours one of the best. Eva whose stage movements were good was vocally disappointing. You were lucky to find the substitute for Sachs. Did you mean Beckmesser to look like Disraeli ? That suggests something I prefer not to discuss.

Probably the most enjoyable Meistersinger I've seen (out of 5 different productions: Munich, Texas, Bayreuth & London).

I could have sat through it all again, but fortunately could only go on the last day.

All the singing was exceptional especially the stand-in Hans Sachs. Bayreuth is in for a treat with him. Orchestra and condutor equally outstanding. Staging a bit overcrowded especially in the final scene. What was the point of the butter market? Also I did not understand why it was set after the ending of the Holy Roman Empire given the reference in the libretto. I must admit to not being a keen Wagnerite and with all his operas it could do with losing at least 30 minutes of the duller music. He frankly needed a better librettist who could write funnier jokes. I did like the homage to Charlie Chaplin in the shop. Overall I enjoyed it and would certainly recommend to others, especially if they are already converted to the cause.

We had not seen Die Meistersinger before. My wife thought it was the best evening she had ever had at Glyndebourne from 1982 onwards. For the first time, she said, she resented the long dinner interval, as she wanted more opera sooner. I agree - except that the second season Tristan und Isolde will always be the best (and we saw all three). Bring back Nina Stemme for Tristan 4.

Meistersinger is the best evening we have ever spent at Glyndebourne in over twenty five years. The production was breath taking and the singing is still ringing in our ears.It was superb and should encourage the whole management team

I went 4 times by assiduously calling for returns. Fortunaltey I was there on the first night. It is a wonderful opera, and I do not agree with comments about it being too long. The score is tremendous, the way it unfolds leading to the great final act - and what would one cut?

The last act was simply magical.

The caste was first class with Sachs and Beckmesser being outstanding. The sets, production and playing all of a piece: a production to savour; a worthy successor to the Tristan production.

The whole production was exquisite. The cast was perfection and the attention to detail was quite superb.
Well done Glyndebourne.

Delighted that we had James Rutherford whom I shall have another chance to hear in the part at Bayreuth. The rest of the cast were excellent although Beckmesser's stiffness and bruising came and went. Niggles: Audience applauding the set in Act III. The presence of stilt-walkers, fire eaters and wretched ballet dancers were distracting and I am sure added considerably to the cost of the tickets.

We had not been to "Mastersingers" for many years, so looked forward to seeing it at Glyndebourne. From the start of the Overture, the omens were good and this production, for which no expense has been spared, shows how important it is to stage operas in the age in which they are set. I did NOT like the staging of Glyndebourne's "Macbeth" - seeing the witches in caravans, nor the recent "Simon Boccanegra" at the ENO in a modern gangster-style production. This was Glyndebourne at its best, just as I thought "Rusalka" was. 6 hours in the Upper Circle does take it out on one's knees, rather!

Great production. Finley's Sachs was magisterial, and all supporters sound especially Alistair Miles as Pogner, though Walther was a bit stolid. The longueurs were Wagner's fault, not Glyndebourne's. Any sane composer could have dealt with this plot in 2 1/2 hours, but then Wagner wasn't sane!

A fantastic night, never to be forgotten. Finlay's Sachs was Masterly! Walter was clearly struggling with a slight throat
problem but did manfully in a part where there is nowhere to hide.

A treat from start to finish. It was an inspiration to move the action forward in time to the Biedermeier era, contrasting original gothic with gothic revival - also a great opportunity to create some Caspar David Friedrich-like atmosphere. The sets beautifully reflected the sense of a country carving out its future from a new understanding of its past. Gerald Finlay was marvellous as Sachs and the orchestra realized Wagner's polyphonic tonmalerei with great clarity and precision - if occasionally less than sprightly. Highly memorable, thank you.

It was a privilege to see a performance of that quality. It goes to show that even at 10.30am on the day of the performance one can get returns for an opera that is otherwise totally sold out - furthermore we were able to get two of the best seats in the house. A memorable evening!

wonderful. as non wagn erians (with the exception of Tristan and Isolde which you gave us so memorably, we had reservations about coming to it but thought it superb....dare I say it but thought the only criticism was due to length, but that aside it was great.womderful production and design thank goodness not updated to ruination,

Yet again FT gets it wrong! A fabulous production still buzzing a week later!
Jurowski and Orchestra absolutely on the money. Gerald Finlay perfect in this auditorium - Act 3 superb. Was a bit concerned every time Walther sang - a bit too tentative? Eva OK. Beckmesser excellent as was Pogner and David pretty good like an extra from Monty Python's Ministry of Silly walks!

Brilliant production and a joy to watch !

Finlay's Sachs was a triumph - and the "love" scenes with Eva the most believable I have ever seen. Beckmesser was very well played as was all the major parts - in particular I thought Alistair Miles' Pogner was excellent. Coping with the big scenes with relatively small chorus resources - was very cleverly done.

The updating to around the composers time - an old trick - but makes sense because the background elements of the composers time are actually being transposed back to medieval times ! Updating this simply reverses this original shift.

In 19C period costume you can show the Meistersingers to be of different social backgrounds as they actually were. Eva and Magdalena played a sisters works better as does Eva consideration of Sachs as a husband. While all the time maintaining the believability of the main plot.

I have been surprised by some of the comments in reviews. - one reviewer could not see how in this production the Meistersingers were held in such high regard ?! The point being they aren't - not in any production ! - the song rules are pedantic and silly and the townsfolk really only go to the song contest to dance, drink, chat up girls/boys etc etc.

I so enjoyed this production of Meistersingers, enhanced for me by the TV talk that we listened to beforehand. The whole production was superb, a feast for the eyes and ears! Vicki Mortimer's sets and costumes were beautiful, but I couln't quite see why she had to change its historical setting. I especially liked David McVicars direction, which portrayed Beckmesser as a pathetic character rather than the buffoon that he is usually made to appear. I watched him during the Prize Song and couldn't take my eyes off him. Johannes Martin Kranzle acted so poignantly throughout it,that my heart bled for him. It added an extra dimension to this wonderful opera.
P.S. My husband never thought he would find a Wagner opera too short!

It was the most wonderful performance. By far the most engaging version of Die Meistersinger we have seen

Fell asleep in this several times before, in 'Another Country' funded by loyal Burgomeisters. At Glyndebourne, one was 100% engaged, amused, stimulated to think about fundamentals. Perfection (of course) of performance, but additionally the minute attention to detail of superbly-evident full-company mega-rehearsal deserves the ultimate 'ausgzeichnet'.

A wonderful production gripping and intensely moving. Gerald Finlay was simply superb...he was Hans Sachs. Great singing from Pogner, Beckmesser and the chorus.....the orchestra was outstanding. Well done too to Magdelena who seemed to make a seamless transition from the chorus. It seems harsh to criticise such a stunning achievement but we were disappointed that you hadn't managed to cast better voices in the roles of Eva and Walther. Both left us slightly anxious in their big moments. Would we go again? To all three remaining performances if we could and then we'll buy the DVD.
Roll on Rinaldo

I enjoyed it hugely; I hadn't see this opera before and was rather dreading the enormous length, but, in spite of the very hard seats, which I have meant to comment on in previous years, was able to drive home afterwards singing the main theme.

I was glad to see that, although the set/costumes were not of the correct era, they were at least not modern and managed, to the untutored eye, to look right.

I went on 10 June and can only say that I share the virtually unanimous view of the previous contributors that this was one of the great Glyndebourne productions. Yes, Eva and Walther could have been more strongly sung, but even they played their parts convincingly: Eva moved beautifully and Walther was suitably aristocratic. Beckmesser was finely characterised for once so that could actually feel quite sorry for him. And Gerald Finley surpassed himself yet again. I saw Anna Nicole at Covent Garden and am still waiting to discover something he can't do supremely well.

My wife and I enjoyed the experience immensely. For all the great length of the opera, things never slowed up and time passed so quickly. I have been attending Glyndebourne since 1953 and this was one of the most memorable and enjoyable productions that I have seen either at Glyndebourne or anywhere else. Congratulations to all concerned

I saw the June 10th performance. Anthony Negus breathed freshness into the score and the whole performance was totally compelling. I had wondered whether it was asking too much of Gerald Finley to play Sachs given his age and heroic good looks; but, as ever at Glyndebourne, one comes away forced to revise cliched views on operas. This casting, outstandingly sung, made complete sense of Eva's dilemma between Walther and Sachs and the sense that he had probably only been recently widowed added to the deeply heartfelt poignacy of the last act. Again, as ever, it was the detail of the production that really impressed. One of the great Glyndebourne nights, and there have quite a few over the years.

Anthony Negus was replacing Jurowski for one night only and did a great job. The overture revealed the utmost clarity in the orchestra, miles away from the usual thick sounding textures, and tempi seemed to be just right; indeed the first part of the 3rd act scene between Sachs and Walter, before the prize song begins to emerge, was a touch slower than usual, which worked very well.
The production has been well described in the reviews. I didn't mind any of it very much - I don't want a political rant in this opera anyway, and the updating didn't really detract. If there is a good enough cast, this opera will succeed, provided nothing too stupid is going on on stage. In this instance McVicar directed his cast in a consistent, unshowy way, so that one noticed all sorts of perceptive, detailed touches. For example, at the beginning of Verachtet mir, Sachs took Walther aside and sat him down, slightly away from the crowd, to give him his minor rebuke - usually Sachs gets up and addresses the entire public (yet again). Gerald Finley was a really great Sachs, and still sounded fresh at the end. It was beautifully sung, but this was also a very thought through characterisation, and the praise that has been heaped on him is well justified. Comparisons are irrelevant - I have seen great Sachses before (Sotin, Howell, Bailey, Weikl, Tomlinson, even Terfel etc) - and Finley is another one.
Johannes Martin Kränzle was a brilliant Beckmesser, with a fine gift for the physical comedy, but also a characterful resonant voice. The masters were all excellent. The Magdalene took ill at the first interval and was replaced by Lauren Easton. Eva and Walther were OK, not brilliant, and David was as annoying as usual.

Those of us there on Friday will count ourselves lucky to have heard Anthony Negus's revelatory conducting of this great score and to have heard Gerald Finley's very fine Sachs which may have been his first but will certainly not be his last. Also a very good and interesting Beckmesser and closely observed playing of the minor parts. For the revival what about asking Anthony to do all the performances, preferably with a better Eva.

Pure Glyndebourne - sets, costumes, staging - all ravishing.

1½ hours of unrelieved fortissimo in Act 1 required a stiff drink or two to be ready to face Act 2. We were so pleased that the brass didn't come back for that until late on. (From where we were sitting they had been blowing straight at us and had all but drowned out the singers in the first act. Did Wagner really intend that sort of competition? I thought the Meistersinger were about who could sing best, not loudest.) Music apart, the production had been fascinating - never a minute without something happening.

Act 2 sounded much more real opera - that's all that remains in my failing memory.

But Act 3 sent us home on the highest ever high. What a fantastic production, both musically and dramatically! I can't praise it too highly - surely that was world-class, if not world-beating class.

This was a sensational performance, but all parts of it were sensational which is very rare. The music was so powerfully performed, but the choreography, the sets design, acting and the lighting too made this such an excellent production that it was a genuine pleasure. All of it. What an introduction to Wagner....

Glyndebourne has given me many memorable nights in the 50 years I have been a Festival Society member and Friday night’s performance (10th June) of Die Meistersinger was one of the most memorable.

Ignorance and prejudice had kept me away from Wagner but a chance meeting with one of the great Wagnerians of our time changed all that. My wife and I were privileged to attend a private, yet poignant recital by Sir John Tomlinson during the funeral celebration of a mutual friend. Talking with Sir John afterwards I admitted that I had never been to a Wagner opera and in order to dispel my doubts he said with great kindness that I should have no fears as much of Wagner is “very approachable”.

In spite of listening to the Kubelik version on long car journeys we were not prepared for the pure theatricality and magic of the opera; we were enthralled.

The stage settings were wondrous and the ensemble singing of the Glyndebourne Chorus impeccable as usual. The minor roles all played their part, especially Mats Almgren as the Nightwatchman. But it was the trio of Beckmesser (Johannes Martin Kranzle), Walther (Marco Jentzsch) and especially Sachs (Gerald Finley) who were outstanding. I hope that Glyndebourne can hang on to his talent for a few more years. We did not want the Opera to come to an end and could have happily sat there for another 4½ hours!

However my heart had sunk a little when I discovered that the performance was to be conducted for that one night only by Anthony Negus rather than Vladimir Jurowski. I need not have worried and in fact my neighbour who had been to a previous performance said that she preferred the more mature approach of Negus over the youthful exuberance of Jurowski.

The only niggle concerned the translation of some of the surtitles - surely “fleider” is lilac not elder
(twice!)

However all in all a wonderful evening and the weather came up trumps too!

5 stars!! I am fortunate to have seen the production twice, the first night and again last Monday. This is Glyndebourne and opera at its very best and everybody involved deserved the standing ovation on the firs night. A revival soon please.

I absolutely loved this production; colourful, lively and, above all beautifully sung. I'm a bit puzzled by the earlier comment about the male chorus 'in drag'. I assume it is referring to the apprentices, who are clearly meant to be boys ( lovely acting!) and whose scoring includes female voices. I thought they were excellent!

The great glory of the evening (if an "evening" can be said to begin at 3.00!) was the playing of the orchestra, right from the first chord, and what riches they have to play. Perhaps it was rather loud, a fault definitely on the right side, and there were times when I longed for more repose. None of the singers disappointed, Beckmesser being outstanding, and the unusually young Sachs very convincing.

But I've been spoilt by having seen the wonderful WNO production twice last year, and was moved to the same extent at Glyndebourne only by parts of the final scene. I found the controversial final monologue less uncomfortable than usual, but I would dearly like to see a production in which it is omitted, which after all is what Wagner wanted to do, before being over-ruled by the odious Cosima.

I am so excited that Meistersinger will be webcast worldwide. Thank you very much for this feast!

BTW, Michael Tanner has a nice review of this production in The Spectator (5/28), which somehow is not listed in your "Reviews."

Visually stunning sets, some supremely sensitive singing, and superb orchestral playing made this one of my memorable Glyndebourne evenings. I was enthralled in the second half when Sachs and Beckmesser produced some splendid acting and singing: witty, playful yet never over the top, beautifully delivered and pitched; I was moved to tears by the delightful JohannesTag Fest: what a joy to see so much colour, light and movement on a stage bristling with jugglers, fire-eaters, gildsmen and townsfolk. Sachs, Beckmesser and Pogner were among the finest in interpretation and execution of their roles. Stronger performances from Walter and Eva would have been appreciated. It was also rather strange that the male chorus in the first half lacked a little weight and seemed to have a number of females in drag, yet the big chorus at the end could have done with stronger soprano voices! All in all, though, a great musical evening!

From beginning to end this was a wonderful performance (June 2nd). I can't speak too highly of the LPO whose playing was superb. I have never heard the woodwind played so sensitively in this opera with all the detailed inner parts audible. Well done everybody- I haven't recovered from the great experience yet. Hope the perfomers have!

My son and I greatly enjoyed the third performance on May 29th; by then everyone on stage seemed to have got to grips with their role. The LPO were excellent; great string sound and the winds and brass brought out all the small but important flourishes in the score. Lets hope for a revival in 2012

What a wonderful production. I found ACT III very moving. I was, most unusually, reduced to tears in the very touching interaction of Eva and Sachs when she explains that she cannot marry him but will always be grateful to him for having awakened her as a human being. The beautiful quintet that followed was absolutely superb.

The offstage trumpets and horns were a fantastic touch.

John Wates

I enjoyed this production very much, especially Gerlad Finley's Sachs (who wouldn't) but would have enjoyed it much more if it had been set in the period it was supposed to be in, i.e. the 16th century. What puzzles me is that the programme stated that it was "some time in the sixtenth century" when the costumes clearly belonged to the 19th. This strikes me, simply, as misleading. Did the director or the designer change their minds after the programme went to press, or what ?

It has been 10+ years since I last saw Meistersingers performed on stage and I was eagerly awaiting this new production.

There wasn't a weak link in the whole production which was stunning in all respects: wonderfully well sung and played, with a sensitive and spectacular production.

It was an excelent idea to have Hans Sachs sung by a younger singer and Gerald Finlay's performance in the first scene of Act 3 was showed great sensitivity as Sachs thought about his dead wife and child. The feeling of desolation was so intense that it almost felt like introding on private grief. Incredibly moving and effective.

The final scene was a spectacular joy, with a thoughtful ending.

I can imagine Meistersingers being done differently, but not better and I hope to see a revival, please!

I found the podcast regarding Meistersinger most interesting. Hopefully, you will exand on this type of project in the future.

Simon Barrow

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