What are you doing there? Is it a song-school today? Let me tell you, the small box! During the following chorus the apprentices, under the supervision of David, take down the large construction which they had put up in the middle of the stage and erect in its place a smaller stage.
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Scene 1: Interior of Katharinenkirche St. Scene 2 As the other apprentices set up the church for the meeting, David warns Walther that it is not easy to become a mastersinger; it takes many years of learning and practice. Many of the tunes he describes were real master-tunes from the period. Walther is confused by the complicated rules, but is determined to try for a place in the guild anyway. Meanwhile, Pogner introduces Walther to the other mastersingers as they arrive.
Fritz Kothner the baker, serving as chairman of this meeting, calls the roll. When Hans Sachs argues that Eva ought to have a say in the matter, Pogner agrees that Eva may refuse the winner of the contest, but she must still marry a mastersinger. Another suggestion by Sachs, that the townspeople, rather than the masters, should be called upon to judge the winner of the contest, is rejected by the other masters.
Pogner formally introduces Walther as a candidate for admission into the masterguild. Questioned by Kothner about his background, Walther states that his teacher in poetry was Walther von der Vogelweide whose works he studied in his own private library in Franconia, and his teachers in music were the birds and nature itself. Reluctantly the masters agree to admit him, provided he can perform a master-song of his own composition.
Walther chooses love as the topic for his song and therefore is to be judged by Beckmesser alone, the "Marker" of the guild for worldly matters. At the signal to begin Fanget an! In her disappointment, Magdalena leaves without giving David the food she had brought for him. This arouses the derision of the other apprentices, and David is about to turn on them when Sachs arrives and hustles his apprentice into the workshop. Eva decides to ask Sachs about the matter. Scene 3 As twilight falls, Hans Sachs takes a seat in front of his house, to work on a new pair of shoes for Beckmesser.
Eva is unenthusiastic about Beckmesser, who appears to be the only eligible contestant. She hints that she would not mind if Sachs, a widower, were to win the contest. Though touched, Sachs protests that he would be too old a husband for her. Eva is intercepted by Magdalena, who informs her that Beckmesser is coming to serenade her. Eva, determined to search for Walther, tells Magdalena to pose as her Eva at the bedroom window. Scene 5 Just as Eva is about to leave, Walther appears. He tells her that he has been rejected by the mastersingers, and the two prepare to elope.
However, Sachs has overheard their plans. Walther makes up his mind to confront Sachs, but is interrupted by the arrival of Beckmesser. Scene 6 As Eva and Walther retreat further into the shadows, Beckmesser begins his serenade. Sachs interrupts him by launching into a full-bellied cobbling song, and hammering the soles of the half-made shoes. Annoyed, Beckmesser tells Sachs to stop, but the cobbler replies that he has to finish tempering the soles of the shoes, whose lateness Beckmesser had publicly complained about in act 1.
He tries to sing his serenade, but he makes so many mistakes his tune repeatedly places accents on the wrong syllables of the words that from the repeated knocks Sachs finishes the shoes. David wakes up and sees Beckmesser apparently serenading Magdalena. He attacks Beckmesser in a fit of jealous rage. The entire neighborhood is awakened by the noise.
The other apprentices rush into the fray, and the situation degenerates into a full-blown riot. In the confusion, Walther tries to escape with Eva, but Sachs pushes Eva into her home and drags Walther into his own workshop. Quiet is restored as abruptly as it was broken. A lone figure walks through the street — the nightwatchman, calling out the hour. David recites his verses for Sachs, and leaves to prepare for the festival. Everywhere madness! His attempt to prevent an elopement had ended in shocking violence.
Nevertheless, he is resolved to make madness work for him today. Walther demonstrates his understanding by composing two sections of a new Prize Song in a more acceptable style than his previous effort from act 1. Sachs writes down the new verses as Walther sings them. A final section remains to be composed, but Walther postpones the task. The two men leave the room to dress for the festival.
Scene 3 Beckmesser, still sore from his drubbing the night before, enters the workshop. The cobbler re-enters the room and Beckmesser confronts him with the verses and asks if he wrote them. Sachs confirms that the handwriting is his, but does not clarify that he was not the author but merely served as scribe.
However, he goes on to say that he has no intention of wooing Eva or entering the contest, and he presents the manuscript to Beckmesser as a gift. He promises never to claim the song for his own, and warns Beckmesser that it is a very difficult song to interpret and sing.
Beckmesser, his confidence restored by the prospect of using verses written by the famous Hans Sachs, ignores the warning and rushes off to prepare for the song contest. Scene 4 Eva arrives at the workshop. She is looking for Walther, but pretends to have complaints about a shoe that Sachs made for her.
Sachs realizes that the shoe is a perfect fit, but pretends to set about altering the stitching. As he works, he tells Eva that he has just heard a beautiful song, lacking only an ending. Eva cries out as Walther enters the room, splendidly attired for the festival, and sings the third and final section of the Prize Song. The couple are overwhelmed with gratitude for Sachs, and Eva asks Sachs to forgive her for having manipulated his feelings.
The cobbler brushes them off with bantering complaints about his lot as a shoemaker, poet, and widower. At last, however, he admits to Eva that, despite his feelings for her, he is resolved to avoid the fate of King Marke a reference to the subject of another Wagner opera, Tristan und Isolde , in which an old man tries to marry a much-younger woman , thus conferring his blessing upon the lovers.
David and Magdalena appear. Sachs announces to the group that a new master-song has been born, which, following the rules of the mastersingers, is to be baptized. As an apprentice cannot serve as a witness for the baptism, he promotes David to the rank of journeyman with the traditional cuff on the ear and by this also "promoting" him as a groom and Magdalena as a bride.
Act 3, Scene 5[ edit ] Almost an act in itself, this scene occupies about 45 minutes of the two hours of act 3 and is separated from the preceding four scenes by a Verwandlungsmusik, a transforming Interlude.
Meadow on the Pegnitz River. It is the Feast of St. Wagner depicts three: the Cobblers, whose chorus, Sankt Krispin, lobet ihn! This sequence leads into the well-known Tanz der Lehrbuben, or Dance of the Apprentices. Beckmesser attempts to sing the verses that he had obtained from Sachs. However, he garbles the words Morgen ich leuchte and fails to fit them to an appropriate melody, and ends up singing so clumsily that the crowd laughs him off. Before storming off in anger, he yells that the song was not even his: Hans Sachs tricked him into singing it.
The crowd is confused. How could the great Hans Sachs have written such a bad song? Sachs tells them that the song is not his own, and also that it is in fact a beautiful song which the masters will love when they hear it sung correctly. To prove this, he calls a witness: Walther. The people are so curious about the song correctly worded as Morgenlich leuchtend im rosigen Schein that they allow Walther to sing it, and everyone is won over in spite of its novelty. See media help. They declare Walther the winner, and the mastersingers want to make him a member of their guild on the spot.
Walther is convinced; he agrees to join. Pogner places the symbolic master-hood medal around his neck, Eva takes his hand, and the people sing once more the praises of Hans Sachs, the beloved mastersinger of Nuremberg.
Her response was, "With Beckmesser he probably did. We know that the original name of the Beckmesser character was "Veit Hanslich," and we know that Wagner invited Hanslick to his initial reading of the libretto, though whether then the character still had the "Hanslich" name when Hanslick heard it is unclear. Evil tricks threaten us; if the German people and kingdom should one day decay, under a false, foreign1 rule, soon no prince would understand his people; and foreign mists with foreign vanities they would plant in our German land; what is German and true none would know, if it did not live in the honour of German masters.
Therefore I say to you: honour your German masters, then you will conjure up good spirits! And if you favour their endeavours, even if the Holy Roman Empire should dissolve in mist, for us there would yet remain holy German Art! On 21 March , the founding of the Third Reich was celebrated with a performance of the opera in the presence of Hitler. The association of Die Meistersinger with Nazism led to one of the most controversial stage productions of the work.
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