[Met Performance] CID:167020

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Metropolitan Opera House, Thu, November 11, 1954

Debut : Otto Edelmann, Kurt Böhme, Calvin Marsh

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (272)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Hans Sachs
Otto Edelmann [Debut]

Lisa Della Casa

Walther von Stolzing
Hans Hopf

Hertha Glaz

Paul Franke

Gerhard Pechner

Kurt Böhme [Debut]

John Brownlee

Charles Anthony

Calvin Marsh [Debut]

Osie Hawkins

Alessio De Paolis

Gabor Carelli

James McCracken

Lorenzo Alvary

Lawrence Davidson

Night Watchman
Clifford Harvuot

Fritz Stiedry

Dino Yannopoulos

Set Designer
Ellen Meyer

Zachary Solov

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg received five performances this season.
In revising the sets for Wagner's opera, Ellen Meyer utilized elements
from the previous production designed by Hans Kautsky.

Review 1:

Review of Ronald Eyer in the December 1, 1954 issue of Musical America

Die Meistersinger Returns With New Singers in Debuts

The real Metropolitan Opera season began with "Die Meistersinger" on Nov. 11 and, whatever loss of dignity the circusy [first] night may have cost, the theater was fully restored with the finest performance of Wagner's festival opera offered here in many years.

Everything was right. The cast approached perfection and provided an object lesson in ensemble. Otto Edelmann (Sachs) and Kurt Böhme (Pogner) were making their American debuts. Lisa Della Casa was singing Eva for the first time at the Metropolitan and Hans Hopf was reappearing as Walther. But all four of these principals had worked together repeatedly in the same roles at Bayreuth in 1952. Ergo! A smooth, integrated, beautifully paced performance!

Mr. Edelmann's Hans Sachs is of the traditional sort, but it is sanguine and three-dimensional in a new way. He is much more than a benign old gentleman of philosophic bent. He is a volatile being capable of anger, disgust, "Weltschmerz;" and he is not so old that he does not feel keenly the pangs of sensuous love for the young Eva. A rich, easily-produced voice is modulated carefully to the varying moods and the famous "Wahn! Wahn!" was a masterful wedding of fine singing with deep meditation.

A kindly, smiling, mellow, but ever-dignified burgher is the Pogner of Mr. Böhme. His Johannistag proclamation, awarding his daughter to the winner of the song-

contest, was handsomely and nobly intoned. Hans Hopf sang pleasantly as Walther and successfully resisted any impulse to turn the Franconian knight into a young Siegfried. In one of her best characterizations at the Metropolitan, Miss Della Casa was a lovely, infinitely appealing properly child-like Eva with a voice to match.?

Gerhard Pechner's acidulous, tragicomic Beckmesser has by now become a definite characterization in this country. It wears very well. Carefully avoiding the loutish "boyishness" too frequently associated with the part of David, Paul Franke made of the ebullient apprentice a believable and attractive figure. His counterpart, Magdalene, was pretty, vocally fetching and of the obviously required youthfulness as portrayed by Herta Glaz. Calvin Marsh, making his Metropolitan debut as Nachtigall, acquitted himself with commendable assurance.

There remains the words of high praise for the master of the whole production, Fritz Stiedry, yet another participant showing his "Meistersinger" to a New York audience for the first time. The highest praise I can think of is to say that his grasp of the work is intimate, mature, affectionate and, above all, respectful. Mr. Stiedry has an obvious reverence for this music that makes him a strict disciplinarian over stage and pit at the same time that he is warm and human in his approach. For him it was a labor of love to which he gave everything and, from the second act on, it was Wagnerian

poetry in its most splendorous habiliments.

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