[Met Performance] CID:247720

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Metropolitan Opera House, Sat, December 18, 1976 Matinee Broadcast

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (370)
Richard Wagner | Richard Wagner
Hans Sachs
Karl Ridderbusch [Last performance]

Ellen Shade

Walther von Stolzing
Gerd Brenneis

Shirley Love

Kenneth Riegel

Dieter Weller

John Macurdy

Allan Monk

John Carpenter

Robert Goodloe

Arthur Thompson

Robert Schmorr

Nico Castel

Jon Garrison

Edmond Karlsrud

Andrij Dobriansky

Night Watchman
Philip Booth

Sixten Ehrling

Review 1:

Review of Lou Cevertillo in the Gannett Westchester Newspapers

Met broadcasts Wagner

Richard Wagner composed his longest opera for a libretto about Mastersingers.

Because he did not hold most singers in very high esteem, and for that matter, he didn't hold most people in very high esteem, it is no wonder that he composed some of the most arduous music for the human voice to sing.

Last Saturday afternoon, the Metropolitan Opera broadcast live from their stage in Lincoln Center the third matinee of their broadcast season. The opera was Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg." It was the 283rd performance of this work by the Met in that company's history.

Gerd Brenneis, a tenor from Germany, made his radio debut as Walther von Stolzing. He made his Met debut in this role during the first week of this season. Looking every bit the Aryan hero, Brenneis sang most of Walther's music well, with only an occasional strangled sound on the top notes. It is not uncommon for German tenors to fail to place the voice far enough forward in the masque when approaching a high note. Unfortunately, if they continue to sing that way, they burn out prematurely. Remember Sandor Konya. Brenneis' acting is traditional Wagnerian at best, which for this opera is acceptable, if not impressive.

As his beloved Eva, Ellen Shade was not only beautiful to look at, but she conquered Eva's difficult music without hindering her full, rich vocal quality. Miss Shade exhibited the best control in the vocal department, making her the most consistently fine interpreter of that role in quite some time.

Dieter Weller, another newcomer to the Met from Germany, sang competently, for the most part, but did not have the range to sing the top notes of his role, that of Sixtus Beckmesser. Nevertheless, his performance was idiomatically correct, and visually hilarious.

Karl Ridderbusch, a huge man, also from Germany, sang the premier bass role, Hans Sachs. Although he does not possess one of the more generous bass voices, or for that matter, one of the more resonant ones, he did add a rather homespun ingredient to the Nurnberg cobbler. Too often the basses who assume the role of Sachs begin to give him a nobility of stature and behavior, which is anachronous to the character. He should be noble of sound not sight ... Ridderbusch was neither. However, he did gain the appreciation of the audience through the benign interpretation of Hans Sachs.

Sixten Ehrling conducted the Met's orchestra with routine style. His uninspired reading of Wagner's splendid score kept an imaginary wet blanket over the sparks originally intended to fly from this music.

The sets and costumes for this production were the creation of Robert O'Hearn, from the 1962 production. They are without equal for the realistic beauty of style and color. There are few productions currently at the Met which could rival this one for its magnificence.

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