Opera Scotland

Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1952Hamburg State Opera

Read more about the opera Meistersinger von Nürnberg

In 1952 the Hamburg State Opera became the first foreign company to make a guest appearance at the Edinburgh Festival. They brought an astonishing repertoire of six works from the core of the German operatic canon. One rarity, Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, an opera by a living composer, received its British stage première. The others made a relatively obvious choice, given the company's willingness to perform such a range, and displayed many of the best singers then active in Germany: Die Zauberflöte, Fidelio, Der Freischütz, Die Meistersinger and Der Rosenkavaler. For such an important visit, the Beethoven, with its great political symbolism, was the wise choice for the opening night on 18 August.

The stellar cast of these two Meistersinger performances speaks for itself. Edelmann and Frick, in particular, were the leading performers of their day, with Grümmer and Anders not far behind. And if the soprano had happened to go sick, the company also contained Lisa Della Casa, who had just been singing Eva at Bayreuth.


Hamburg State Opera in Edinburgh - 1952

The Hamburg State Opera was the first foreign opera company to visit the Edinburgh Festival, and brought six productions.  There were five unversally accepted classics of the German operatic repertoire -   Fidelio Die Zauberflöte,  Der Freischütz,  Die Meistersinger, and  Der Rosenkavalier, as well as the British stage premiere of Hindemith's  Mathis der Maler.

Many of the leading singers were famous at the time and remained well known through the gradually widening availability of many recordings from Bayreuth and other sources.

The performance schedule for the Hamburg visit was as follows:

First Week, commencing 18 Aug:  Mon 18 Fidelio;  Tue 19 Zauberflöte;  Wed 20 Fidelio;  Thu 21 Zauberflöte;  Fri 22 Freischütz;  Sat 23 Zauberflöte.

Second Week, commencing 25 Aug:  Mon 25 Freischütz;  Tue 26 Zauberflöte;  Wed 27 Freischütz;  Thu 28 Rosenkavalier;  Fri 29 Mathis der Maler;  Sat 30 Rosenkavalier.

Third Week, commencing 1 Sep:  Mon 1 Fidelio;   Tue 2 Mathis der Maler;  Wed 3 Meistersinger;  Thu 4 Fidelio;  Fri 5 Rosenkavalier;  Sat 6 Meistersinger.

Performance Cast

Walther von Stolzing a young knight

Peter Anders

Eva daughter of Pogner

Elisabeth Grümmer

Magdalene Eva's nurse

Gisela Litz

David apprentice to Sachs

Kurt Marschner

Hans Sachs a shoemaker

Otto Edelmann

Veit Pogner a goldsmith

Gottlob Frick

Sixtus Beckmesser town clerk

Toni Blankenheim

Fritz Kothner a baker

Caspar Bröcheler

Performance DatesMastersingers of Nuremberg 1952

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

3 Sep, 17.30 6 Sep, 17.30

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