[Met Performance] CID:170560

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, January 11, 1956

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (277)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Hans Sachs
Otto Edelmann

Lisa Della Casa

Walther von Stolzing
Albert Da Costa

Hertha Glaz

Paul Franke

Gerhard Pechner

Giorgio Tozzi

John Brownlee

Thomas Hayward

Calvin Marsh

Osie Hawkins

Alessio De Paolis

Gabor Carelli

James McCracken

Lorenzo Alvary

Lawrence Davidson

Night Watchman
Clifford Harvuot

Rudolf Kempe

Dino Yannopoulos

Set Designer
Ellen Meyer

Zachary Solov

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg received ten performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of H. W. Levinger in Musical Courier

This performance of Wagner's immortal operatic jewel will remain one of the finest the Metropolitan has given in many a season. From the [first] bars of the overture, a mounting enthusiasm swept the audience which was utterly justified and which at the end of the long evening exploded in a long-lasting ovation calling all the participants of this memorable evening numerous times in front of the golden curtain.

The center of the performance was Rudolf Kempe, its conductor. His conception of the work stressed its characteristics as a comic opera and realized the lightness of the score in tempo and sound. The overture sounded with Mozartean transparency and elan, a basic conception which permeated the entire interpretation of the score. Another praiseworthy innovation was the restitution of the cut in Sachs' final peroration. This restitution, which was balanced by a new cut in the cobbler's "Euch macht Ihr's leicht, mir macht ihr's schwer," gives the ending of the opera, musically, a much better equilibrium than was achieved before with the amputated version of the closing pages. Mr. Kempe's accompaniment of the singers was remarkable for lucidity, lightness and animation. The singers, on their part, responded magnificently.

There was a new Walther von Stoltzing, Albert Da Costa. This young singer came to the Metropolitan as one of the Audition winners, was heard last season in two bit parts and established himself with his first appearance in this important assignment as one of the white hopes of the operatic ensemble. He has a fine lyric voice which he handles with care. After a rather tentative beginning in the first act, he grew quickly confident and from the second act on delivered himself of his assignment with musicianly and vocal excellence. Here is a heroic tenor who will be an adornment to the operatic roster.

Another "find" was Giorgio Tozzi's Pogner. His mastery of the German language was admirable and his vocal and histrionic ministration of the part impressive in its dignity and human understanding.

All the other leading parts were cast with familiar names. Otto Edelmann again sang Sachs with beautiful vocal and histrionic immersion, warmth and human nobility. Lisa della Casa as Eva was an exquisite pleasure to eye and ear. As Magdalena, Hertha Glaz gave a convincing characterization. Paul Franke, as he grows more familiar with the role of David, adds pertinent characterizations to his impersonation. Gerhard Pechner is a Beckmesser who sings this part without any tasteless histrionic exaggerations. The ensemble was beautiful. Honors go to Messrs. Brownlee, Hayward, Marsh, de Paolis, McCracken, Carelli, Hawkins, Davidson, Alvary and Clifford Harvout (who sang the Night Watchman with sensitivity). The Chorus (Kurt Adler, chorus master) sounded beautifully, as did the virtuoso orchestra. In the revised sets of Ellen Meyer, Dino Yannopoulos moved his forces with taste and efficiency, though this reporter's objections to the arrangement of the Festwiese (mentioned in earlier reviews) still seem valid to him.

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