[Met Performance] CID:5670
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {9} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/21/1887.

(Debut: Mr. Verworner
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 21, 1887


DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG {9}
Wagner-Wagner

Hans Sachs..............Emil Fischer
Eva.....................Auguste Seidl-Kraus
Walther von Stolzing....Max Alvary
Magdalene...............Marianne Brandt
David...................Otto Kemlitz
Beckmesser..............Wilhelm Basch
Pogner..................Rudolph Von Milde
Kothner.................Georg Sieglitz
Vogelgesang.............Julius Meyer
Nachtigall..............Emil Sänger
Ortel...................Max Dörfler
Zorn....................Mr. Hoppe
Moser...................Mr. Verworner [Debut]
Eisslinger..............Mr. Klaus
Foltz...................Jean Doré
Schwarz.................Mr. Eiserbeck
Night Watchman..........Max Heinrich

Conductor...............Anton Seidl

Director................Mr. Van Hell
Set Designer............Henry E. Hoyt
Costume Designer........Henry Dazian
Lighting Designer.......James Jr. Stuart

Review in The New York Times (probably W. J. Henderson):

METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

"Die Meistersinger" had its first representation this season at the Metropolitan Opera House last evening. The revival of Wagner's fairly well known work attracted a very large and brilliant assemblage, and the plaudits and recalls indicated, long before the performance came to a close, that the impression wrought by the drama, the music, and the rendering of the book and score was of the most agreeable sort. The characteristics of "Die Meistersinger," its elements of strength and vitality and its weaknesses, have often been dwelt upon in these columns. Amid the dreary abstractions of the mythical music-drama, its simple but fascinating pictures of medieval life come as a welcome relief, and while a large portion of the opera is taken up with the more or less melodious recitative which is intended to do duty for the banished aria and concerted numbers of the ancient masters - until some creative genius of the Verdi type appears to demonstrate the absurdity of the extremist's theories - there is no gainsaying the poetic loveliness of many parts of the score, and the graceful elaborateness and tonal richness of many of the accompaniments. The suggestive and descriptive, though often confused and confusing, vorspiel, Walther's song in the first act, and Pogner's address, Beckmesser's quaint serenade in act the second and the animated finale following the "marker's" discomfiture, and Walther's prize-song and the quintet in the third are all beautiful and symmetrical composition that need no mastery of leading motives to be enjoyed and admired; every now and then a most characteristic fragment of melody or a series of daintiest harmonies gladden the ear and enrapture the spectator by its vividness; the fascinating and striking passages of the work, however, are quite offset by the preponderance of Wagnerian music pure and simple - music that hath charms for the initiated, but that must leave the public at large, for many years, at any rate, in obscurity as to its significance, sweetness, or grandeur. In last night's revival some of the artists who were concerned in earlier representations of "Die Meistersinger" were heard once more in their familiar rôles, and some sustained for the first time in this country the characters allotted to them. As a whole, the performance was a remarkably good one. Herr Alvary's fresh and vibrant voice is well suited to Walther's measures, and on closer acquaintance with the requirements of the rôle a slightly increased delicacy of vocal delivery will be all that will be needed to render his lyric portrayal thoroughly acceptable. That the young tenor both looked and acted the personage goes without saying; his efforts, last evening, were in truth completely successful Herr Basch, who embodied Beckmesser, and who, like Herr Alvary, was beheld yesterday for the first time in "Die Meistersinger," also produced a lively impression. He is by all odds the best representative of Beckmesser we have had in New York; his acting is comedy but not burlesque, and his voice and singing both claim high commendation. The remaining important rôles in "Die Meistersinger" were divided between Frau Seidl-Krauss, Fräulein Brandt and Herren Fischer and Von Milde. Frau Seidl-Krauss, to the spectators' gaze at least was scarcely an ideal Eva, but Fräulein Brandt was a perfect Lena, Herr Fischer, in the third act particularly, a capital Hans Sachs, and Herr Von Milde a competent if not a sonorous Pogner. The orchestra was in excellent form, and the scenic attire of the opera unexceptionable. As mentioned already, there were repeated recalls after each act, and the audience sat out the representation, which ended toward midnight.



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