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A midsummer night's opera

Meistersinger Every once in a while something comes along that makes you want to kiss the Internet. I felt that way when I learned that until July 3, you can watch Wagner's entire "Die Meistersinger" streamed from England's Glyndebourne Festival.

This is a wonderful opera for this time of year because it all takes place on one long hazy Midsummer's Day, identified in the medieval German setting as Johannestag, or the feast of St. John the Baptist. The opera makes me think of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" because it has that kind of haze of enchantment, people a little loopy and confused, in a very sweet way.

It is the first time the Glyndebourne Festival has staged "Meistersinger." The performance has subtitles and it is like being there. At the start of Act I you hear the crowd quieting, and the clipped British admonishment to turn off cell phones. Then the Russian conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, takes the podium and you get that magical overture. Beautifully performed, with real excitement. I like this Jurowski.

The staging looks adorable. The British are fun for their sense of humor -- they take a very unstuffy approach and you will probably find yourself smiling a lot. Another way that, to me, this opera is like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is that often you want to laugh and cry at the same time. The music does that to you.

Anyway, beautiful. Serving suggestion: Take your laptop out into the garden with a glass of wine, or a cold beer, or a can of diet pop, as the case may be. Enjoy.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

 

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Music | Theater
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