30 minutes of cheering for Vienna’s first new Meistersinger in 47 years

30 minutes of cheering for Vienna’s first new Meistersinger in 47 years


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2022

Audience members with stop-watches timed the ovations for Keith Warner’s new Meistersinger production at half an hour, a roar unheard at the Vienna State Opera since long before Covid.

The biggest cheers were for the British director, whose production was understated and unpolitical, and for the music director Philippe Jordan, loser in a political battle with Staatsoper chief Bogdan Roscic, who has abolished his job.

A strong cast was led by Michael Volle as Hans Sachs, Georg Zeppenfeld as Veit Pogner and Wolfgang Koch as Beckmesser. David Butt Philip gave an ‘elegantly restrained’ Stolzing while Hanna Elisabeth Müller was a lovable Eva.

In Vienna, as ever, all is political.


  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Keith Warner does Wagner rather well. His Bayreuth Lohengrin was universally adored.

    • Tristan says:

      probably much better than all the rubbish one mostly sees on German and Austrian stages nowadays – Rosic has been an absolute disaster since his start – awful Parsifal and Tristan – hope he will get the message and listens to audience more than clueless critics – only a handful knows the oeuvre

  • Erik says:

    Unpolitical?! How in earth can this work in Vienna be regarded as unpolitical?

    • Erik says:

      I sang in the chorus in the old Vienna Meistersinger. Its thinly veiled anti-Semitism is one of the reasons I ultimately left the chorus. (Thielemann was conducting and insaw skinheads loving the situation in the loges). Praising this new production for being apolitical seems totally against the PC vibes slippedisc claims to portray. I hope a further review will explain why this new production is good for being apolitical. Wagner’s antisemitism matters here.

      • Michael in Europe says:

        I would be interested in learning what exactly in your opinion “Wagner’s thinly veiled anti-Semitism” in Meistersinger entails, specifying the content you refer to. Wagner’s anti-Semitism is not in question; just what specific content in Meistersinger demonstrates it.

      • Fritz grantler says:

        Here we go agian…Tiresome..

  • Andrew Powell says:

    Partly it’s a hunger just for a decent staging (cf. Munich’s beautifully sung and conducted sad new “asteroid” Lohengrin a day earlier, replacing the 2009 “happy homebuilder” Lohengrin of Jonas Kaufmann fame).

  • William says:

    I was there. Warner was cheered but not as much as the singers or the conductor. Some idiots also booed him, but they were drowned out.