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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, by Richard Wagner

Metropolitan Opera / New York / Music

For a change of pace partway through the endless genesis of his “Ring” cycle, Richard Wagner thought he’d toss off a fleet little comedy. But the man couldn’t help himself. A celebration of the Art of the Future born from the great traditions of Germany’s past, chockful of sunny midsummer madness, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg grew to characteristically gargantuan Wagnerian dimensions. The Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, on whom the world is pinning its hopes for a latter-day Kirsten Flagstad, appears as the goldsmith’s strong-willed daughter Eva. Klaus Christian Vogt sings the knightly Walther von Stolzing, whose song wins her hand. Pulling the strings is Michael Volle as the wily widower Hans Sachs, a cobbler and poet to whom all Nuremberg sings hosannas. All Nuremberg: that would be the mighty Met chorus, sure to raise the roof also in the night brawl (composed as a double fugue), the procession of the guilds, and other set pieces. Antonio Pappano, a Wagnerian generalissimo to reckon with, conducts. —M.G.

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