SFOpera - Did you know...? Wagner's Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Did you know...? Wagner's Meistersinger von Nürnberg

In writing Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Wagner turned to Johann Christoph Wagenseil’s 1697 historical study, Buch von der Meister-Singer holdseligen Kunst Anfang (Book of the Mastersingers’ Fair Art), for the basis of his libretto. He even used the names of real Nuremberg master singers, the titles of actual songs, the rules for song competitions, the list of mistakes/penalties and various technical expressions in and throughout his opera.

One of the most striking moments from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, however, was based on an early masterwork from Wagner's own cannon—Tristan und Isolde...

Wagner directly quotes his own Tristan und Isolde in Act III, Scene 4 of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Here, Hans Sachs tells Eva he 'knows a sad story of Tristan and Isolde.' Wagner incorporates the famous motif of longing from his previous opera.


The motif of longing, including the famous Tristan chord, excerpted from the opening of the overture to Wagner's Tristan und Isolde


The moment in act III, scene 4 from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg where Hans Sachs refers Eva to the sad tale of Tristan and Isolde. In this moment the listener can hear Wagner's motif of longing in the orchestra.

Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg comes to the War Memorial Opera House as part of our thrilling 2015–16 Season! Join us for this comic masterpiece!

5 Questions with Daniel Knapp
Adler Profile: Matthew Stump