This cobbler opera is hard on the knees

This cobbler opera is hard on the knees


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2014

Our New York operavores, Elizabeth Frayer and Shawn Milnes, have been to the Met’s Meistersinger. They’re on aspirin for the rest of the week.

And they raise the interesting question of who, exactly, is paying the tenor. Read here.




  • Michael Endres says:

    I totally support Norman’s medical concerns ( I ain’t no Wagner fan meself ) but I was relieved to read in the eyewitness review:

    ”I was fully engaged in the music and the action onstage. I never once prayed to god for it to end as I did at Les Troyens two years ago. Wagner is magic that way.”

  • Marshall says:

    Oh, I thought the many dissatisfactions about Mr. Lebrecht’s pet “operavores” had finally had an impact, and they would no longer be heard from-here. I was honestly looking for another informed review of the performance because there has been some difference of opinion about it. But when I saw the childish header about being “on aspirin” after the performance, I knew I was looking in the wrong place.. For such an august and serious musical forum-are there no other reviews of Met performances available?- as long as you are “reviewing” it.

    And aren’t we beyond the juvenile comments about the length of Wagner’s operas? It’s so tiresome. Is this something just dawning on people here? Wagner’s operas are long, and Mahler’s symphonies last a long time-OK. If it’s not for you, don’t go. I was particularly irritated by the vapidity of the comment about Les Troyens-which happens to be one of my favorite operas-and if we must invoke a divinity-I thank god that Berlioz through much struggle, was able to give us that miraculous work.

    By the way, despite the old myth about it, Troyens is about the length pf Parsifal, and both are shorter than Meister, and Goetterdaemmerung. Yes, the operavores can learn this too (and they can move on to Ibuprofun), that the first act of Goetter is longer than all of Rigoletto (which I can enjoy with the right cast, and before they had goofy productions), but then again, Wagner has so much more to say than Verdi.