287), through his description of Andreas Homoki's portrayal of Beckmesser
in 2011 as "an awkward but loveable fop--equal parts Franz Liszt, Andre Rieu, and Mr.
He follows Michael Tanner's lead in insisting that Beckmesser
is a guild official in sixteenth-century Nuremburg, and simply should not be seen as a Jewish caricature.
German baritone Michael Volle stars as cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, with South African tenor Johan Botha as Walther, German soprano Annette Dasch as Eva, German baritone Johannes Martin Kranzle in his Met debut as Beckmesser
, German bass Hans-Peter Konig as Pogner, American tenor Paul Appleby as David, and Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill as Magdalene.
Wagner's supercritical Beckmesser
would report a couple of rogue notes, interestingly towards the register's lower reaches (Williams is scaling the upper slopes of head-tones to compelling effect), but we allow instrumentalists the occasional finger - or lip-slip, so no matter.
Also strong is the Beckmesser
of Johannes Martin Kranzle, a great comic actor who never resorts to slapstick or playing the goof.
Christopher Purves makes a delightfully obsequious Beckmesser
while Andrew Tortise shines as the apprentice David.
Bryn Terfel is wonderful as the warm-hearted cobbler Hans Sachs while Christopher Purves makes a thoroughly likeable 'baddy' as clerk Sixtus Beckmesser
Andrew Tortise was totally engaging as Sachs' apprentice David, while Christopher Purves milked every bit of comic potential from the absurd rather than nasty Beckmesser
It's not a bundle of laughs but there are some humorous touches - Christopher Purves showed a great flair for fun in his clowning around as Beckmesser
, the town clerk.
The Dutchman is Ahasucrus, the wandering Jew (and also Geyer, the allegedly hated stepfather); Alberich is the insidious money-grubbing Jew who pollutes the moral order from a place beneath it; Beckmesser
is the Jewish interloper who undermines the honor and public spirit of the city.
A limited instrumental range (clarinet, trumpet, tuba, violin, viola, cello, electric guitar, piano) in no way hampers the composer as the music shifts from the grandeur of "ancient Czech scenes" to the drunken yodelling of the German singer Beckmesser
or an Old Prague cabaret.
Hanslick was a Jew, something Wagner was very much aware of and held against him, but critics are fair game for parody, and there is no suggestion in the opera that Beckmesser