Saturday, December 13, 2014

Die Miestersinger

Richard Wagner
Kelvin and I went to the 6 hour production of Die Meistersinger von Nuremburg today. We arrived before the theatre doors were open and I slipped down to Jug o Juice to get him some breakfast.

The last opera in Wagnerian Ring Cycle was equally as long -- another six hour stint. As I was waiting for the doors to open this morning, I was reminded of the Brits with whom I saw the latter opera. One group had the good sense to order in pizza during one of the intermissions. At another of the intermissions I saw the equivalent of a well-organized picnic brought out of bags and purses. I was fantasizing a white table cloth, some candles and one of Wyona’s seemingly effortless dining experiences where she whips out a feast for 8 or so. I will keep that to a fantasy but it did cross my mind.

Add in the travelling time to and from the theatre and you will know that only die-hard Wagnerians were in the audience, most of them with hair as white as mine. Only Kelvin was using a walker, though many looked like they were wishing there were a rail to hold onto as they climbed up and down the theatre stairs.

Everything was perfect.

The music was lush. There was an interview with Maestro Levine. Costuming was exquisite – leather, rustic blouson sleeves, cod-pieces, neck-ties perfectly off-set so that they looked casual, stunning wigs, and choreography that made me laugh during the night scene.

Our theatre had a hand-out for patrons so that we could read a synopsis of each act. And we had an usher with a flash-light who helped us find our assigned seating. That was good for Act One. Then we mixed ourselves up, spreading out, moving seat assignments until all were comfortable and content for 6 hours.  There of our own free-will.

Yes, a good time had by all.



  1. I looked for info about the plot of this opera. I started with wikepedia - and I found an early review of this work: "John Ruskin described Die Meistersinger in a letter to Georgina Burne-Jones in 1882: "Of all the bĂȘte, clumsy, blundering, boggling, baboon-blooded stuff I ever saw on a human stage, ... and of all the affected, sapless, soulless, beginningless, endless, topless, bottomless, topsiturviest, tongs and boniest doggerel of sounds I ever endured the deadliness of, that eternity of nothing was the deadliest, so far as the sound went. I never was so relieved, so far as I can remember in my life, by the stopping of any sound – not excepting railway whistles – as I was by the cessation of the cobbler's bellowing."" What a review. And I thought my inner critic was harsh, but this review takes harsh to a new level.

  2. I lingered on that sentence as well as I was reading about the plot. I never thought of making topsey turvy an adjective and running it all together. And I laughed when the critic said that he would concede that train whistles may be worse. Now that writer had his pencil sharpened! And obviously he has never lived right on the railroad track and heard a train start in the middle of the night, that thunderous clatter as each box car pulls on the next!