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(Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Ten. Apprentice to Hans Sachs, he has a long-standing relationship with Magdalene, Eva's companion, even though she is older than he is. There is to be a trial for those wishing to become new Masters. Magdalene asks David to ensure that Walther succeeds (so he can enter the song-contest for which the prize is marriage to Eva). David explains to Walther the Tablatur, the table of rules by which all songs must be composed. These rules are quite complicated and David soon realizes that Walther's chances of remembering them are remote. David then supervises the other apprentices in setting the scene for the song contest, and explains to Walther how there will be a marker to listen for his mistakes. He knows that Walther will fail, and indeed he does. David knows this means trouble with Magdalene and when they meet she is certainly not pleased with him. He helps Sachs sort out the new shoes ready for the morrow and goes to bed. He is awakened by noise in the street below his window, and looks out to see Magdalene being serenaded by Beckmesser (who thinks he is singing to Eva). He rushes out and starts beating Beckmesser, who is saved by Sachs's dragging David away and sending him into the house. The next day Magdalene tells him the story of her impersonation of Eva and he is reassured, but worried about what Hans Sachs is going to say to him about his behaviour the previous night. He returns to the house, where Sachs is studying a large book. Sachs says nothing and this worries David until he goes up to Sachs and asks his forgiveness. Sachs just asks him to sing his new poem. Suddenly, David remembers—it is Sachs's birthday. He presents him with flowers and ribbons which Magdalene gave him. He also suggests to Sachs that he, too, should take part in the competition for Eva's hand. David is sent to get ready to accompany his master to the song contest. When he emerges, he is amazed to have Sachs announce that he is upgrading him from ‘apprentice’ to ‘journeyman’. He can't wait to tell his fellow apprentices and Magdalene. At the end of the day's events, his pride in being able to serve someone as noble as Sachs is obvious. Arias: Gleich, Meister! Hier! (‘I'm coming, Master! Here!’); Der Meister Tön’ und Weisen (‘The Masters’ tones and melodies’); ‘Am Jordans Sankt Johannes stand’ (‘On Jordan's banks St John did stand’); quintet (with Sachs, Eva, Walther, and Magdalene), in which his opening lines are: Wach’ oder träum’ ich schon so früh? (‘Do I wake or dream so early?’). This is not a ‘great’ Wagnerian role, but is fun to play and with some good music to sing. Tenors of the calibre of Gerhard Stolz, Gerhard Unger, Anton Dermota, Peter Schreier, and Graham Clark have been happy to make a speciality of it. Created (1868) by Max Schlosser.

Subjects: Opera.

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