Wagner : Die Meistersinger von NurnbergNurnberg, 2011 (Audio)
Director: Marcus Bosch
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Wagner. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. 2011. Nürnberg. Albert Pesendorfer (Hans Sachs).Guido Jentjens (Veit Pogner).Christoph Wittmann (Kunz Vogelgesang).Kurt Schober (Konrad Nachtigall - Spengler).Jochen Kupfer (Sixtus Beckmesser).Martin Berner (Fritz Kothner).Martin Platz (Balthasar Zorn ).Philip Carmichael (Ulrich Eisslinger).Martin Nyvall (Augustin Moser).Yong Jae Moon (Hermann Ortel).Vladislav Solodyagin (Hans Schwarz).Daeyoung Kim (Hans Foltz).Michael Putsch (Walther).Tilman Lichdi (David).Michaela Maria Mayer (Eva).Leila Pfister (Magdalena). Dir.: Marcus Bosch
Now, what is so special about this particular production? ...
Well, it is the first time that this opera is produced by an Israeli director.
This opera is indeed special in that regard because it was heavily used to promote both a vulgar form of the German nationalism prior to 1944, and antisemitism. For that reason every new production of the Meistersinger in Germany is handled with great care. The text (libretto) is what it is and the producer is regularly very careful not to cross the line any of the two dangerous lines, (1) during/after the Hans Sachs' final speech, and (2) in the portrayal of Beckmesser.
That was wonderfully done by Andreas Homoki at the Komische Oper in Berlin who simply staged the whole show beautifully and has put the comedy in the foreground (Beckmesser was actually one of the most sympathetic characters on the stage.)
So this Nuremberg production is staged by David Mouchtar-Samorai, who basically does what I believe was a reasonable thing to do. His Beckmesser is obviously Jewish: he shows up with a yellow flower on his lapel and wears an old-fashioned kippah; later in the show he wears a yellow scarf... Why making it implicit or tacit?!
The stage is organized as to make the action look intemporal (the sets are theatric, "modern") and only in the 3rd act it becomes clear that the action takes place today. The final celebration is organized on a stadium, among the local soccer team (FCN) fans and with dozens of German flags waving all over the stage. In the end of the final Sachs' speech the European flags actually dominate the stage - designing the future.
David's implicit message is "Move on!" and let the art speak the past but pointed toward future.
Apart from that idea, I am not really crazy about the way the whole action was organized, but that must be a question of personal taste, and I'll let you decide how much you actually like it.
In any case the show is certainly better than the tired Glyndebourne production presented last summer (and that in spite of the phenomenal Johannes Martin Kränzle.) The singers in this show are not the international stars but they are really good, especially Albert Pesendorfer.