1 August 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
A Meistersinger that is as joyous as it is triumphant
For the longest time, I have loved and deeply appreciated opera. Wagner has very quickly become a favourite, and along with Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg is one of my favourite Wagner operas.
This 2001 production is a true triumph for the Met of Wagner's most humorous but one of his longer operas, and my favourite production Die Meistersinger alongside the 1984 production(which I prefer a tad for the performances of Hans Sachs and Beckmesser and the conducting but I prefer the pacing of this production and Walther). The costume and set design look wonderful, and further looks great with the excellent video directing and picture quality.
The music advantaged by sound that never feels muffled or unbalanced is truly glorious right from the rousing overture, the sublime Quintet to the Prize Song. The sound from the orchestra is truly impressive, likewise with James Levine's conducting.
The performances are terrific, with James Morris as Hans Sachs in one of his best roles and Thomas Allen splendid as Beckmesser. Pognor is truly excellent too, and Matthew Polenzani and Karita Mattila are wonderful and suitably compassionate as David and Eva. The performance of the production for me was that of Walther, Ben Heppner, who sings beautifully and with plenty of power and emotion particularly in the Prize Song.
All in all, I highly recommend this Meistersinger. 10/10 Bethany Cox