Ballet & Dance

R. Wagner : Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
New Production

R. Wagner : Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

<opera in 3 Acts>
<sung in German with Japanese supertitles>


<Sample Movie> Please click here

<OPERA TALK> Please click here
Music & Libretto by : Richard Wagner
Conductor : Stefan Anton Reck
Production : Bernd Weikl
Scenery Design : Frank Philipp Schlössmann
Costume Design : Mechthild Seipel
Lighting Design : Isono Mutsumi
Stage Manager : Osawa Hiroshi
Chorus Master : Misawa Hirofumi
Chorus : New National Theatre Chorus
Orchestra : Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra
Cooperation : Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany / Richard-Wagner-Gesellschaft Japan
Supported by : Goethe-Institut Tokyo
Special Cooperation : Central Japan Railway Company
Cooperation : Brother Industries, Ltd.

Hans Sachs : Peter Weber
Veit Pogner : Hans Tschammer
Kunz Vogelgesang : Ono Mitsuhiko
Konrad Nachtigall : Mine Shigeki
Sixtus Beckmesser : Martin Gantner
Fritz Kothner : Maiya Takehiko
Balthasar Zorn : Narita Katsumi
Ulrich Eisslinger : Mochizuki Tetsuya
Augustin Moser : Takahashi Jun
Hermann Ortel : Hasegawa Akira
Hans Schwarz : Hare Masahiko
Hans Foltz : Osawa Ken
Walther von Stolzing : Richard Brunner*
David : Yoshida Hiroyuki
Eva : Anya Harteros
Magdalene : Koyama Yumi
Ein Nachtwächter : Shimura Fumihiko
*Torsten Kerl, who was originally to perform the role of Walther von Stolzing is unable to perform.
Alternatively, Richard Brunner is taking his place. Please refer to New National Theatre News.

Oct. 2
2:00   X   X X   X
4:00 X   X     X  
Doors will open 45 minutes before the opening of the performance.
Approximate running time: 5 hours and 50 minutes

  Available from Monday 18 July, 2005 at 10:00am.
To order tickets, please call +81-3-5352-9999 (10:00am-6:00pm).
Internet ticket reservation available through the following Websites.(Japanese only)

TICKET PRICES (with tax)
  SS S A B C C E F Z
Price(yen) 23,100 19,950 16,800 14,700 11,550 8,400 7,350 4,200 1,500
*A part of "Seat F" (¥4,200) : Sold at the NNTT Box Office and all Ticket Pia outlets on the performance date only. Up to 2 tickets per person. No phone reservations. *Seat Z(\1,500): Sold to students only at some Ticket Pia outlets on the day before the performance. Any tickets not sold by the performance date will be released to the general public at the NNTT Box Office and some Ticket Pia outlets. One ticket per person. No phone reservations. Students must bring a valid student ID. *Same day student tickets (50% off, except Seat F & Z ): Sold at the NNTT Box Office and some Ticket Pia outlets on the performance date. One ticket per person. No phone reservations. Students must bring a valid student ID.

*Opera House Ticket Prices & Seating Plan

handbill [R. Wagner : Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg]

(Bernd Weikl, Stage Director)

What did Wagner want to convey through his music and literature? He had dreams and wanted to use his music to create a utopia. Meistersinger has a tragic history: the spirit of this work, which praises Germany, was once used as a tool for promoting nationalism and fascism during Hitler's time. Moreover, even today, many journalists are inclined to find anti-Semitic elements in the opera. In fact, there is not the slightest trace of extolling fascism, and this work shows the foolishness of xenophobia. This is what I would like to demonstrate to the world through my direction of the opera. I know the perfect moments when singers should sing and take act in the opera. I will first give priority to songs, so that the singers can performance as well as possible, and then add the most appropriate and effective movements to produce dramatic effects. By doing so, I hope I will be able to build a bridge that will run from the period when Wagner wrote music, to the 20th century, and to the present, thus realizing a utopia within the theater. Look forward to the forthcoming production, as I trust that it will impress all of you.
(This is a translation of an article published in the June 2005 issue of the NNTT's information magazine, The Atre.)

"Old" and "New" in Art

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) is Wagner's only comedy other than his early works, but refined discussions about art woven into this opera cannot be overlooked. In this work, Wagner raises the question of correlations between "old" and "new" in art, setting the art of the rule-constricted, rigid Mastersingers against that of Walther, a child of nature. The conflict between the two invigorates the progression of the drama, and Walther's art soon garners the wide support of people through the empathy and understanding of Hans Sachs, one of the Mastersingers. But the question of "old" and "new" does not remain on the level of the plot. While the composer brought chromaticism to its limit in his previous opera Tristan und Isolde, in this work he chose to effectively combine various kinds of musical language he had at hand. This method may look moderate, but he used an extremely innovative idea for a composer of his time. This is shown when Sachs sings about Walther's song in his so-called Flieder (elder) monologue: "I can feel it but cannot understand it. I cannot remember all of it by any means, but it is unforgettable. I can grasp it but cannot measure it. In the first place, how can I measure something that is hard to grasp? It does not fit any rule, but even so, there is nothing wrong with it. It is an old yet new sound---the lovely song of a May bird." After long months of winter, the song of an old bird can sound new---this is where Wagner conveyed his ideal for the rebirth of art.

Enjoying Meistersinger through Lies, a Source of Vitality for Comedies
(By Miyake Yukio, music critic)

The setting is Nuremberg in the mid-16th century. Hans Sachs, a cobbler, learns that Walther von Stolzing, a young knight who is visiting the city, has fallen in love with his neighbor's daughter Eva. He acts as an intermediary between Walther and Eva by foiling Sixtus Beckmesser, a city clerk, in his attempt to marry Eva, and letting Walther win in a singing competition... This would be a rough summary of the story of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The spirit of a comedy dwells in its details, however. Isn't what is important in details "lies," a source of vitality for comedies? Of course, the lies referred to here include not only their original meaning---making a statement that contradicts the facts--but also saying what one does not think, not giving an answer though one knows it, and not saying what one should say. For example, Walther says, "I headed straight for Nuremberg because my only true concern was art" (Act I Scene 3). This is a lie because he knows that he cannot marry Eva unless he becomes a Mastersinger. The true reason he has wandered into the city is likely that he has become unable to maintain his fief and castle. And the reason Sachs says what he does not think about Walther, "Stop acting violently here and put the finishing touches on your career somewhere else," is that he is telling a lie to see how Eva responds (Act II Scene 4). As expected, Eva becomes enraged, but given that she had previously asked Sachs a tricky question, saying, "I was convinced that you would marry me because that you thought of me being as being a daughter," it could be said that the two ended up getting the best of each other in a contest of lies. Eva's father Veit Pogner, not telling his daughter that Walther failed the qualifying test, equivocates, "Well, it seems that I have become slow-witted" (Act II Scene2). And Sachs says "The judge should make a decision without being bound by love and hatred" from the rules of songs and voices his doubt to Beckmesser, who is very excited after listening to Walther sing. (Act 1 Scene 3). Eva's suitor judges her lover, making Sachs's opinion look fair at face value, but if so, he should have quoted the rules before the test was given. He did not say what he should have said, but chose the right time and launched a personal attack most effectively. This is not the only lie Sachs tells. In Act III Scene 3, he presents Beckmesser with two difficult choices: stealing or artistic theft. Look forward to Sachs's lies.


The young knight Walther learns that Eva will be betrothed to the winner of a singing contest to be held the next day and decides to take on the challenge of singing a trial song.However, all the maestros criticize the inadequacy of Walther's voice. Their musical art has many strict rules that have been handed down from generation to generation.Sachs is the only person who is moved by Walther's fresh singing and acknowledges his talent.

<Conductor> <Production>
Stefan Bernd
Stefan Anton Reck Bernd Weikl
Peter Hans Martin
Peter Weber Hans Tschammer Martin Gantner Richard Brunner
Yoshida Anya Koyama
Yoshida Hiroyuki Anya Harteros Koyama Yumi

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