Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Met's "Die Meistersinger"

Tonight the Met's Nightly Opera Stream is "Die Meistersinger" and I am tuned in.

It is kind of emotional watching these Met broadcasts because of the current situation, I mean with this virus. Wagner's "Die Meistersinger" shores me up and gives me courage. Last fall when I had my first art show, I was playing "Meistersinger" as I framed up my pictures and got them ready to show. This music got me through it.

What I have seen so far ... and I am not through the first act ... this production looks fine. Not like "Goetterdaemmerung" yesterday, I have to say that. I had to stop watching "Goetterdaemmerung" because the production was just so Goetterdaemmerung awful.

Just get out of Wagner's way, you know?

Just stage the darned opera!

That guy, whoever did "Goetterdaemmerung," he had how much money to work with? I am guessing a lot. I am also guessing that I could have done a better job. The costumes were a mess. The mechanics ... you never lost sight of that you were seeing machines. Maybe it looked different from the seats but I doubt it. Everything was a mess. And Siegfried looked like a slug. I could not stand it.

OK, you cannot look a gift horse in the mouth so, whatever. On to this one.

I do not often take the opportunity to watch the entire "Meistersinger" and whenever I do, new things jump out at me. The way in the first act David, Sachs' apprentice, has such a prominent part. All his musings about music, and what he is learning from Sachs. Wagner must have enjoyed that.

The Master Singers ... I still cannot get over that one of them is named Kunz. I love that! I watch for Kunz Vogelgesang. He is a tenor. The one in this production looks young and he throws himself into the part -- I mean, he establishes a character for Kunz. I like that. They have little name plates in front of their seats and I love that. Kunz Vogelgesang.

In high school one of my best friends was Anne Conrad and she pointed out to me that my name meant hers. Kunz is short for Konrad.

There is a Konrad also among the Master Singers.

And there is also Erich Kunz, the late great Viennese baritone, who was the ultimate Beckmesser. I mean Sixtus Beckmesser, the baddie in "Die Meistersinger."

At left is a signed photo of Erich Kunz as Beckmesser in the Bayreuth production of 1943. I love what a ham he was. From other pictures I have seen he was actually a very good-looking man. Very Viennese, very urbane. You have to admire a guy who sacrifices good looks to look the part he is playing. Erich Kunz, God love him, he did that!

The picture is for sale on eBay only unfortunately I am too cheap to buy it. It is $90! I am glad a photo of my Uncle Erich is commanding so high a price but still.

Well, just looking at the picture makes me proud.

My name is all about "Meistersinger"!

Now I have to go ahead and watch the rest of the opera.

I will report!

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