Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A trip to Alt Nurnberg

Today is the Feast of St. John the Baptist and I always think of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger," which takes place on this day -- Johannestag, in Germany. Being close to the longest day of the year it is a magical day and it is celebrated with bonfires and general craziness. And "Die Meistersinger" takes place all in the course of this one long single day.

Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro," which Nickel City Opera is performing this weekend, also takes place in one long day. It is not specified to be the Feast of St. John the Baptist but it could very well be!

"Die Meistersinger" begins with a chorale in honor of St. John the Baptist which I was unsuccessful in locating on YouTube. So I settled for the wonderful overture. The video below is a heated performance conducted by Rafael Kubelik. It has a beautiful slideshow of Nuremberg.

Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition of 1901 featured a German beer garden exhibit called Alt Nurnberg, or Old Nuremberg. That is Alt Nurnberg pictured above. My husband Howard's garage sits today where Alt Nurnberg was.

Here is a picture of lunch hour at Alt Nurnberg. It was a popular spot! It cost 25 cents just to get in and then your meal was extra.

Oh, man! I am watching the video of "Die Meistersinger" and it goes into the chorale!! I can't believe it!

Here I was just enjoying the music and the pictures and all of a sudden you see the picture of the church and there it is. The chorale that begins Act 1. The chorale in honor of St. John the Baptist. And in the background you hear hints of the "Prize Song" heard later in the opera. Try to take 15 minutes out of your day and watch this. It is like a mini-vacation.

Wait till you see the shot of the fireworks. They come right at the perfect instant.