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Magdalene


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(Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Mez. Eva's nurse and companion. She hopes to marry David, Sachs's apprentice. In church, she realizes that Eva's attention is wandering to Walther, the handsome young knight. After the service, Magdalene is sent to retrieve Eva's belongings from their pew in order to leave Eva alone with Walther. Magdalene is anxious that people do not suspect a relationship between these two before the song contest, for the prize is Eva's hand in marriage. Magdalene suggests Walther should learn the way to go about winning her. She asks David to teach Walther the rules of the guild to ensure that he is elected a Master. She later learns from David that Walther has failed the test. She urges Eva to ask Hans Sachs for help. Eva asks Magdalene to stand at the window, dressed in Eva's cloak, so that Beckmesser, who is coming to serenade Eva, will mistake Magdalene for Eva—Magdalene agrees to this ruse, hoping it will also make David jealous. She is unaware that Eva is planning to elope with Walther, leaving Magdalene behind to confuse her father. David's jealousy is duly aroused and he sets about beating-up Beckmesser. Frightened that he will badly injure the town-clerk, Magdalene screams for help. By now the whole town is awake and only the Night-Watchman's arrival restores sanity. Magdalene explains to David what it was all about. At the contest she is clearly delighted when Walther wins. She hopes that now that Sachs has upgraded David from ‘apprentice’ to ‘journeyman’, they too will be able to wed. Magdalene has no solo aria, but sings in many ensembles, including the famous third-act quintet with Eva, Walther, Sachs, and David, where her opening line is Wach oder träum ich schon so fruh? (‘Is this a vision or a dream?’). Created (1868) by Sophie Dietz.

Subjects: Opera.


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