Eva Pogner

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(Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Sop. Daughter of Veit Pogner. Her long‐standing nurse and companion is Magdalene. Her father has promised her in marriage to the winner of the next Masters)’ song contest. Unknown to him, she has fallen in love with the young knight Walther von Stolzing. Although she is to be allowed to veto the choice of husband, her father insists she can only marry a member of the Masters)’ guild, which Walther is not. Walther asks Eva's father to back his request to join the guild, which Pogner gladly does, but adds that he will be subject to the tests that all applicants have to face. Walther sings his song to the gathered assembly, marked by the town‐clerk Beckmesser, who himself has ambitions to marry Eva. The knight is failed by the marker. Eva learns of this later from Hans Sachs, whom she knows is very fond of her, but he does not seem willing to help Walther. Later, Walther and Eva meet and arrange to elope that night. Eva asks Magdalene to dress in her cloak and stand at her window so that her father will think she is at home and she can then slip out to meet Walther. The plan works, but Sachs watches them, blocks their escape, and takes her back to her home. Understanding what the problem is, Sachs sets about coaching Walther. The next morning Eva visits the cobbler to collect her new shoes and while she is there, Walther arrives. She expresses her gratitude to Sachs for helping them so selflessly—she knows that, in his own way, he also loves her. At the meadow on the bank of the River Pegnitz, Eva is led into the arena by her father and seated on her throne to listen to the competitors. Walther sings and is clearly the winner. Eva places the victor's myrtle wreath on his head. She is very upset when he refuses it. Sachs explains to him why he should accept it and, as he capitulates, Eva places the wreath on Sachs's head. The young couple join Sachs in praising ‘holy German art’. Aria: O Sachs! Mein Freund! Du teurer Mann! (‘O Sachs! My friend! You dear man!’); quintet (with Sachs, Walther, Magdalene, and David—Eva opens the ensemble): Selig, wie die Sonne (‘As blissfully as the sun’).

Eva is not a Heldensopran role like Brünnhilde, or even Sieglinde or Senta and, as well as many acknowledged Wagnerians, an equal number of non‐Wagnerian sopranos have enjoyed fame in the role. These have included Tiana Lemnitz, Maria Müller, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Lisa Della Casa, Gré Brouwenstijn (who also sang Elisabeth at Bayreuth for two seasons), Hilde Gueden, Trude Eipperle, Hannelore Bode, Sena Jurinac, Felicity Lott, Nancy Gustafson, and Renée Fleming. Created (1868) by Mathilde Mallinger.

Subjects: Opera.

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