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Die Meistersinger

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Jan 25, 2011)
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2
$39.99
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Editorial Reviews

Franz Hawlata, Artur Korn, Michael Volle, Klaus Florian Vogt, Norbert Ernst, Michaela Kaune, and Carola Guber star in this Bayreuth Festival production of the Wagner opera conducted by Sebastian Weigle and directed by Katharina Wagner.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German (DTS 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 356.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0046HCOOS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,955 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
From my review on Superconductor:
In this production, Ye Olde Nuremberg is reimagined as the arts department at, let's say, Nuremberg Community College. The acts feature a multi-tiered set, with Act I in the library and Act II in the cafeteria. This "Song-school" is run by the Masters and administered by David. Sachs' apprentice (Norbert Ernst) is an academic pedant who spends his time distributing the arcane rules of the Mastersingers in little yellow rule-books. Walther enters this world as the bad-boy artist in leather and shades, painting furiously on musical instruments, the walls, even David himself in his attempts to break out of the old order. He is sung by Klaus Florian Vogt: a pleasing, if smallish tenor that can handle the role's high tetessitura. His good looks recall the late Peter Hofmann.

Hans Sachs (Franz Hawlata) enters as a barefoot, chain-smoking journalist--the rebel within the Mastersinger clique. Mr. Hawlata delivers a solid Sachs, using his skills as a compelling actor to support the two big monologues. In Act II, the cobbler's last is replaced by a typewriter, which Sachs clicks and clacks on during Beckmesser's song, damning the Marker's performance with keystrokes instead of hammer-blows. The hero of Wagner's opera has become Eduard Hanslick, the Vienna music critic who was both Wagner's nemesis and the inspiration for Sixtus Beckmesser. In Act III, Sachs teaches Walther the rules of success, (using the dread yellow book) and the two become conservative, successful, utterly hollow sell-outs in dark suits.

Eva (Michaela Kunde) is a repressed, almost predatory figure. In Act II, she blossoms, re-invented through Walther's use of creative visual art. She gets a makeover and is suddenly "cool.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this after reading the rave review from "Mostly Opera." The critic writes of Katharina Wagner's staging: " I remember having seen negative comments related to this staging from people who had not even seen it at the time." After seeing this I have to agree with the critic that Katharina was politically judged (rather than artistically judged) because of who she is. To truly enjoy this staging you will probably need to accept/agree that this opera is an allegory of changes in society; about how society reacts to change and how much change it can accept."

(This is an all too apt assessment and says much about American Opera fans).

Contd:

"In Act 1 we are in a 19th century brotherhood of sorts: Traditionally clad "meistersingers" sit around the table, reading small yellow books of German classics. At that time, Sachs, barefoot, is a slightly controversial outsider. But not nearly as controversial as the modern-dress Walther, who sprays paint on everything and everybody. Not a singer, but a painter, the point is driven through, by him assembling a puzzle of Nürnberg all in disorder compared to Beckmessers perfectly assembled Nürnberg puzzle.

In Act 2, the sullen Eva hangs around what looks like an East-German Canteen in the 1950's, where Sachs sits with his typewriter in the corner. In the only hint at shoemaking, sneakers seem to be dropping from the sky and all ends in an orgy of paint-throwing.

The real stuff begins in Act 3: Now Beckmesser is suddenly the outcast with his T-shirt "Beck in Town" and finds himself in Sach's fancy apartment, where the heads of the old German masters (Brahms etc.) dancing in the background.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Just how awful a "conceptual" production can be is amply demonstrated by this travesty of Meistersinger by Katharina Wagner. It is consistent in visual terms. But it bears no relation whatsoever to the work at hand. Indeed it is ridiculous to follow the libretto and attempt the vaguest correlation with what it is being shown on screen. And what we are seeing is ugly and tasteless and pointless. So, Mme. Wagner, off with your head.

Musically, the performance fares better, without being outstanding. But the music is ably sung and it is so beautiful that one can listen with one's eyes closed.

There is some comfort in the knowledge that for once we are given a real live Bayreuth performance even if we are given little of the little ados and fanfares before the performance begins. More could have gone into attempting to create that one is really on the green hill ready to enter the holy of holies. I would have appreciated more Bayreuth flavor. And courtain calls with the loud boos for Mme. Wagner. Disgraceful.

The sound and picture on the dvd are exemplary.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Please do not be influenced by the negative reviews of this staging of Meistersinger. The predominant operatic proclivity today ( reinforced by the major opera companies, such as the Met, Vienna State Opera, etc.,) tends to favor traditional stagings in deference to the zeitgiest of the composer favored by the traditionally inclined patrons. Alas, many opera lovers tend to live in the past and seem to be inexorably stuck there. I saw a wonderful avant garde staging of the Ring Cycle at the LA Opera last year that really redefined this masterwork for me. I also love the traditionally staged Ring Cycle but found the LA Opera production to add a new dimension to it from a visual, and intellectual standpoint. Well, Ms. Wagner has accomplished a similar outcome with this latest version of "Meistersinger" at Bayreuth. While I would love this opera in any form, and have several traditionally staged recordings, this particular staging is superb in all aspects and the sound and video capture outstanding. I could provide a discursive esoteric analysis and reveal what I consider to be its virtues but I won't. Simply maintain an open mind and enjoy it for how it resonates with you personally from a musical and asthetic standpoint. A must for any Wagnerian!
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