The Münchner Festspiele and the 2002-2003 opera season at the Bayerische Staatsoper ended with a performance of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. August Everding's production from 1979 was undoubtedly the best I have seen with this opera company, and naturally, they are getting a new one for next time.
Peter Schneider conducted impeccably. The music was very beautiful, less monumental than Der Ring, much more filled with joy. Jürgen Rose's sets and costumes were lovely, the sets were not ornate, of light wood, but filled the space nicely. The costumes were fitting for the middle of the 16th century from what I could tell, and there were no strange choices of color.
The singing and acting all came off well. Jan-Hendrik Rootering as Hans Sachs and Eike Wilm Schulte as Sixtus Beckmesser were especially good in Act II, as the latter is trying to serenade Eva, and the former is cheerfully foiling his efforts by cobbling while singing.
Robert Dean Smith as Walther von Stolzing, our headstrong Frankish knight, was charming, a very pleasing voice, but his accent in German is not perfect.
René Pape has the perfect voice for Veit Pogner, but he seems to young to be the father of Eva, just as far as his carriage.
At any rate, it was a thrilling performance. To think that the opera itself premiered in that very space!