Wagner's Meistersinger

Wagner's Meistersinger

Performance, History, Representation

Edited by Nicholas Vazsonyi


Currently out of stock

University of Rochester Press



A volume of collected essays which engage Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg from the perspective of both active performers and academics in a wide range of disciplines.
Richard Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg has been one of the most performed operas ever since its premiere in 1868. It was adopted as Germany's national opera ("Nationaloper"), not least because of its historical coincidence with the unification of Germany under Bismarck in 1871. The first section of this volume, "Performing Meistersinger," contains three commissioned articles from internationally respected artists - a conductor (Peter Schneider), a stage director (Harry Kupfer) and a singer (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau), all experienced in the performance of this unusually demanding 5-hour work. The second section, "Meistersinger and History," examines both the representation of German history in the opera and the way the opera has functioned in history through political appropriation and staging practice. The third section, "Representations," is the most eclectic, exploring in the first place the problematic question of genre from the perspective of a theatrical historian. The chronic issue of Wagner's chief opponent, Eduard Hanslick, and his musical and dramatic representation in the opera as Beckmesser, is then addressed, as are gender issues, and Wagner's own utterances concerning the opera.

Contributors: Nicholas Vazsonyi, Peter Schneider, Harry Kupfer, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hans Rudolf Vaget, Lutz Koepnick, David B. Dennis, Klaus Van Den Berg, Thomas S. Grey, Lydia Goehr, Eva Rieger, Peter Höyng.

Nicholas Vazsonyi is Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature, University of South Carolina.


9 black and white illustrations
256 pages
9x6 in
Paperback, 9781580461689, August 2004
Hardback, 9781580461313, March 2003
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS028000, MUS020000, MUS050000
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Table of Contents

"Climbing Mount Everest": On Conducting Die Meistersinger - Peter Schneider
"We Must Finally Stop Apologizing for Die Meistersinger": A Conversation with Harry Kupfer - Harry Kupfer
Richard Wagner's Cobbler Poet - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
The Dangers of Satisfactioin: On Songs, Rehearsals, and Repetition in Die Meistersinger - Lydia Goehr
Stereoscopic Vision: Sight and Community in Die Meistersinger - Lutz Koepnick
"The Most German of All German Operas": Die Meistersinger through the Lens of the Third Reich - David B. Dennis
An Interview with the Composer concerning History, Nation, and Die Meistersinger - Peter Höyng
Die Meistersinger as Comedy: The Performative and Social Signification of Genre - Klaus van den Berg
Masters and Their Critics: Wagner, Hanslick, Beckmesser, and Die Meistersinger - Thomas Grey
"Du warst mein Feind von je": The Beckmesser Controversy Revisited - Hans Rudolf Vaget
"I Married Eva": Gender Construction and Die Meistersinger - Eva Rieger


Intellectually speaking, this is a delicious tome . . . an indispensable book. Vazsonyi, Rochester University Press, and the individual essayists are to be roundly congratulated on an outstanding contribution to Wagnerian scholarship. WAGNER NOTES, Wagner Society of NY

This superb volume of essays . . . (is) the best ever published on 'Die Meistersinger' . . . a book that demands to be read by anyone interested in the politics of opera. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE (Barry Millington)

A wonderfully wide-reaching introduction to the extensive field of "Meistersinger" scholarship. CHOICE

Nicholas Vazsonyi has organized a collection of new writings whose eleven authors keep the reader up to date with this abundant literature. More than that, the diverse contributors he has chosen complement one another . . . what results is a book that fulfills its underlying interdisciplinary aim. For readers seriously interested in Wagner it will be both instructive and absorbing. THE OPERA

Nicholas Vazsonyi has assembled a collection of essays that deal with aspects of the opera not necessarily addressed elsewhere, affirming the continuing relevance of the work. This book offers a collection of interdisciplinary studies that should supplement some of the more traditional literature on this seminal work by Wagner. MONATSHEFTE, 2006

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