[Met Performance] CID:322750
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {390} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/16/1995., Broadcast

(Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 16, 1995 Matinee Broadcast


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {390}
Wagner--Wagner

Hans Sachs..............Bernd Weikl
Eva.....................Karita Mattila
Walther von Stolzing....Ben Heppner
Magdalene...............Birgitta Svendén
David...................Lars Magnusson
Beckmesser..............Hermann Prey
Pogner..................Jan-Hendrik Rootering
Kothner.................John Del Carlo
Vogelgesang.............Jon Garrison
Nachtigall..............Christopher Schaldenbrand
Ortel...................Philip Cokorinos
Zorn....................Anthony Laciura
Moser...................John Horton Murray
Eisslinger..............Charles Anthony
Foltz...................Richard Vernon
Schwarz.................LeRoy Lehr
Night Watchman..........René Pape

Conductor...............James Levine

Available for streaming at Met Opera on Demand
Rebroadcast on Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio

Review of Hugh Canning in the London Times (UK)

The "Meistersinger" performance, on the other hand, was perhaps the best I have heard. The glorious playing of the Met orchestra in the prelude was a foretaste of good things to come and the audience was not disappointed. Levine's Wagner is not always to my taste - his interminable 1987 Ring was torture by boredom - but here he was at his most genial and moving, approaching greatness in his deeply felt accompaniment to Sachs's "Elder-tree" and "Madness" monologues. Perhaps he was inspired by a cast that comes as near to an ideal as I suspect is possible today. It consisted, appropriately, of seasoned veterans - Bernd Weikl's avuncular Sachs, Hermann Prey's ditzy Beckmesser - and shining, youthful newcomers: Karita Mattila, the first Cardiff Singer of the World, has, after a shaky apprenticeship, blossomed into a near-perfect Eva. Herr Walther von Stolzing, the burly Canadian Ben Heppner, may be no oil-painting, but vocally his is the most handsome, golden-toned Heldentenor to grace the world's stages in my opera-going lifetime. Lars Magnusson's David sounded a little under par for the Met, but his nimble athleticism gives him histrionic advantages in the part; Birgitta Svenden (Covent Garden's current Erda in The Ring) is luxury casting for Eva's chaperone Magdalena, and the Mastersingers' Guild was strongly led by Jan-Hendrik Rootering's Veit Pogner and Alan Held's Fritz Kothner. Weikl's Sachs probably has no peer today and Prey's Beckmesser, seedier, more crotchety than in his famous Bayreuth impersonation in 1981, has acquired classic status. All told, I cannot recall a more enjoyable "Meistersinger" than this superb revival. Museum or no, the Metropolitan Opera still has its uses.


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