Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Sixten Ehrling
New York Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
18 December 1976
Metropolitan Opera House New York
Recording Type
  live   studio
  live compilation   live and studio
Hans Sachs Karl Ridderbusch
Veit Pogner John Macurdy
Kunz Vogelgesang John Carpenter
Konrad Nachtigall Robert Goodloe
Sixtus Beckmesser Dieter Weller
Fritz Kothner Allan Monk
Balthasar Zorn Robert Schmorr
Ulrich Eißlinger Jon Garrison
Augustin Moser Nico Castel
Hermann Ortel Arthur Thompson
Hans Schwartz Andrij Dobriansky
Hans Foltz Edmond Karlsrud
Walther von Stolzing Gerd Brenneis
David Kenneth Riegel
Eva Ellen Shade
Magdalene Shirley Love
Ein Nachtwächter Philip Booth
Gannett Westchester Newspapers

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.
Sixtus 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.
Lou Cevertillo

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Technical Specifications
320 kbit/s CBR, 44.1 kHz, 562 MByte (MP3)
Matinee broadcast
A production by Nathaniel Merrill (1962)