Pogner, Veit

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(Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg). Bass. One of the Masters, a goldsmith, and father of Eva. He has decided that the prize for the winner of the forthcoming song contest will be his daughter's hand in marriage. He knows the town‐clerk, Beckmesser, hopes to marry Eva, though the idea does not appeal to him. Walther von Stolzing, a young knight, asks Pogner to help him join the guild of Masters. Pogner is happy to do this (for then Walther can enter the contest and, if he wins, Eva would marry into the aristocracy) but warns him he will have to have an audition and pass the tests like everyone else. When Walther sings at the audition, it soon becomes clear that he does not know any of the Masters’ rules of composition. Beckmesser, acting as marker, fails him, but Pogner points out that the town‐clerk has a vested interest. He wonders how he can work things out so that Walther is admitted to their guild and whether to enlist the help of the one person he really respects, the cobbler Hans Sachs. Talking to his daughter, she fails to tell him that, member of the guild or not, she is planning to elope with the young knight that very evening. Sachs prevents their departure and returns her to her home, without Pogner realizing what has been happening. At the start of the contest, taking place in a meadow on the banks of the River Pegnitz, Pogner leads his daughter to her throne and takes his own seat with his colleagues, worrying about the result. He is fond of Eva and concerned for her happiness. Sachs whispers to him to have courage. When Walther sings his song, it is obvious that he will be the winner, much to Pogner's (and no doubt Eva's) relief. Pogner takes the chain of office and prepares to place it round Walther's neck to admit him to the guild. He realizes he owes his and his daughter's happiness to Sachs, to whom he pays homage. Aria: Das schöne fest, Johannestag (‘The lovely festival, St John's Day)’). Created (1868) by Kaspar Bausewein.

Subjects: Opera.

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