Who will be Meistersinger 2022?
The "Meistersinger von Nürnberg" singing competition launched by Staatstheater Nürnberg in 2016 takes place every two years in the city that is the setting of the Meistersinger. The competition addresses singers that already have some professional experience or are enrolled students at a conservatoire.
The first two editions of this still relatively new competition in 2016 and 2018 already attracted major attention. More than 700 singers from all over the world applied to take part. Almost half of them were heard live in international preliminary rounds and in Nürnberg. The eighty who performed best were then invited to Nuremberg to the actual competition to compete for the awards against each other in front of an expert jury and an enthusiastic audience.
The competition, which is funded exclusively by patrons, sponsors and supporters, aims to attract international participants. It addresses singers that already have some professional experience or are enrolled students at a Conservatoire. In 2022, there will be an additional special prize for the lower vocal ranges Alto and Bass. The members of the international expert jury chaired by the famous Wagner tenor Professor Siegfried Jerusalem are a guarantee for the quality of this singing competition.
The public finals will be held at the Nuremberg opera house and will be followed by a festive awards ceremony. The singers will be accompanied by the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg. The competition closes with a free open-air concert featuring all of the award winners and the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, hosted in cooperation with the city of Nuremberg's depart.
Nuremberg – the city of "Meistersinger"
Nuremberg itself has a rich musical and opera history. Minnesong thrived at Nuremberg's former Imperial Castle, for example, and along with the numerous local monasteries, the churches of St Sebaldus and St Lawrence were important centres of church music and mystery plays. Hans Sachs (1494-1576) popularised the burlesque Fastnachtsspiele; various singing academies were established, and Nuremberg became the famous Meistersinger city - the city of "Meistersinger". Walther von Stolzing, Tannhäuser and Wolfram von Eschenbach all had connections to Nuremberg or to the local region, and the first surviving German opera, Seelewig (1644) by Sigmund Theophil Staden, was penned here.
Finally, Nuremberg became something of a "dream destination" for the 19th century romanticists. To them, the mediaeval cityscape and Nuremberg's rich traditions made it their ideal of a German city. Eventually, Richard Wagner discovered the imperial city of Nuremberg, the poet Hans Sachs and the world of the Meistersinger as a subject for a musical drama, thereby ensuring that the name of the city would feature forevermore on the programmes of the world's opera houses. Above all, however, his opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) stands for the utopia of a liberal civil society where art, tradition and progress are discussed and balanced in song.