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Antonio Pappano introduces Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Watch the conductor's essential introduction to Wagner's masterpiece.

By Tom Nelson (Insight Programme Manager)

15 December 2011 at 6.30pm | Comment on this article

With this year’s X Factor over, it’s time for an altogether more serious singing competition. At a recent Insights event at the Royal Opera House Antonio Pappano described the confrontation of the traditional and the revolutionary in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

You can watch Pappano's introduction to the Die Meistersinger overture and the music of one of the main characters – Walther - in this video.The piece includes a performance from Simon O'Neill and accompaniment from pianist Geoffrey Paterson, a current Jette Parker Young Artist.

Simon O'Neill talks of the demands placed on a singer taking on the role of Walther. He has to perform his "Prize Song" (one of the most memorable Wagnerian tunes ever written), a total of nine times throughout the opera. It's the biggest vocal challenge he's ever faced: "I know Wagner called this a comedy, well it's no comedy for poor old Walther. I'm not laughing!". Listen to a clip or download the full interview from iTunesU.

Wagner found the inspiration for his only comic opera in the unlikeliest of places. Opera historian Sarah Lenton also gave an introduction to Die Meistersinger with this as her focus. Listen to a clip or download the full interview from iTunesU.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg opens on Monday 19 December and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on New Years Day at 2:45pm

By Tom Nelson (Insight Programme Manager)

15 December 2011 at 6.30pm

This article has been categorised Opera, Talk and tagged Antonio Pappano, competition, conductor, insight, introduction, Meistersinger, prize song, Simon O'Neill, singing, video, Wagner

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