Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Romantic opera from 1867

Richard Wagner
Composer, Librettist


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (German: [diː ˈmaɪ̯stɐˌzɪŋɐ fɔn ˈnʏʁnbɛʁk]; "The Master-Singers of Nuremberg") is a music drama (or opera) in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas commonly performed, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater, today the home of the Bavarian State Opera, in Munich, on 21 June 1868. The conductor at the premiere was Hans von Bülow.

The story is set in Nuremberg in the mid-16th century. At the time, Nuremberg was a free imperial city and one of the centers of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. The story revolves around the city's guild of Meistersinger (Master Singers), an association of amateur poets and musicians who were primarily master craftsmen of various trades. The master singers had developed a craftsmanlike approach to music-making, with an intricate system of rules for composing and performing songs. The work draws much of its atmosphere from its depiction of the Nuremberg of the era and the traditions of the master-singer guild. One of the main characters, the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, is based on a historical figure, Hans Sachs (1494–1576), the most famous of the master singers.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg occupies a unique place in Wagner's oeuvre. It is the only comedy among his mature operas (he had come to reject his early Das Liebesverbot), and is also unusual amongst his works in being set in a historically well-defined time and place rather than in a mythical or legendary setting. It is the only mature Wagner opera based on an entirely original story, devised by Wagner himself, and in which no supernatural or magical powers or events are in evidence. It incorporates many of the operatic conventions that Wagner had railed against in his essays on the theory of opera: rhymed verse, arias, choruses, a quintet, and even a ballet.

Year 1867
Opening Night 1868
Time Period Romantic
Opus WWV 96
Instrumentation Opera orchestra, Opera chorus


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude
Ernst Eulenburg & Co. GmbH 2013
Voss, et al.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Ernst Eulenburg & Co. GmbH 2000
Wagner, et al.
Choral Fantasia on "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg"
J. Curwen & Sons 1867
Fletcher, et al.
Song Of The Apprentices
Paterson's Publications 1867
Diack, et al.


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude to Act I
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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Was duftet doch der Flieder (Act II)
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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
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Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg (Excerpts)
This is a performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg (Excerpts), performed by Orchestra of the ...
Wagner: Les Maîtres chanteurs de Nuremberg : Prélude
This is a performance by mezzo-soprano Petra Lang.
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