k r i t i k e n   . .   m u s i k t h e a t e r




Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Wagner: Meistersinger, Metropolitan Opera New York 2014
(I: Schenk, D: Levine):

Public Award (paterre box): Metropolitan Debut of the Season 14/15
as Beckmesser in Wagners „Meistersinger“

Huffington Post:
In an impressive Met debut, the German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle is hilarious as the buffoon Beckmesser. It's a tricky role, singing well while appearing to sing badly, and Kränzle carries it off wonderfully.

Classical Source:
Johannes Martin Kränzle made a most auspicious Met debut as Sixtus Beckmesser, the Town Clerk and would-be suitor of Eva, who comes to grief in the final scene. It falls to the portrayer of this opera’s most enigmatic character to flesh out his actions and emotions and thereby bring Beckmesser to life. Kränzle’s Beckmesser seemed to combine elements of malice and vindictiveness that marked Hans-Joachim Ketelsen’s portrayal of the Clerk in 2007 with the conniving, petulant and pathetic character portrayed in earlier runs of this production by respectively Hermann Prey and Thomas Allen. Kränzle was vocally excellent and he carried off with masterful and perfectly timed gestures Beckmesser’s refusal to shake Walther’s hand, his antics in the Marker’s booth, his frustration when serenading Eva, and his humiliating failure to win the Song Contest.

New York Classical Review:
It was the house debut of Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser that carried much of this performance. Already the owner of an established career in Europe, Kränzle brought unusual poise to the role of the aged bachelor. His fluid, caramel tone made his own hackneyed rendition of the mastersong in the final scene a pleasure to hear, crummy lyrics and all.

New York Times:
In his Met debut, the German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle sang Beckmesser, the town clerk, the comic foil in the story. When Pogner offers his daughter’s hand as a prize in the song contest, Beckmesser is determined to win by any means necessary. With his robust voice and crisp diction, Mr. Kränzle played him as a fidgety, nervous, neurotic type, not a bad guy at his core.

Classical Voice North America:
In a most successful house debut, Johannes Martin Kränzle brought handsome, burnished tone and a witty edge to the role of Sixtus Beckmesser, delivering the stiff, rule-bound character’s horrible songs with studied, art-song fussiness. Kränzle managed to turn this distasteful character into the town fussbudget and crank, pathetic in his posturing and deficient only in talent and kindness.

Two German singers made a particularly strong impression in supporting roles... Johannes Martin Kränzle, making a Met debut as Beckmesser, used his pleasant baritone to create a character that is more straight and at times sympathetic than a cartoonish one.

Opera News:
On the forward-looking side, there was a tremendous Met debut for Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser. All of the many layers in the character were accounted for, but he was never ridiculous. He was proud of his wooing song in Act Two, and his competition performance was an etude in missing the point with absolute commitment, yet the character was so real that he had the audience’s full sympathy.

Epoch Times:
The German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle was simply wonderful as Beckmesser, the comic heavy, who is humiliated in the end, a sort of Malvolio figure.

It is in Walther's Act I trial that Johannes Martin Kranzle's smarmy Beckmesser makes his initial appearance. Kranzle did a tremendous job as the opera's pathetic antagonist, progressing from spiteful to conniving, without neglecting the role's demanding vocals or physicality. Volle and Kranzle's chemistry during Beckmesser's disastrous Act II serenade portrayed the underhanded friction between Beckmesser and Sachs effectively.

Opera Plus (Cesko):
Johannes Martin Kränzle debutující v Met v roli Beckmessera byl velkou oporou tohoto představení. V Evropě uznávaný Kränzle vnesl do role starého mládence v letech neobvyklou vyrovnanost. Plynoucí, nasládle lepkavý hlas udělal z jeho vlastního banálního přednesu mistrovské písně v závěrečné scéně sluchové potěšeni.

Latin Post:
As Beckmesser, Johannes Martin Kranzle managed to combine the caricature normally associated with the antagonist with humanity. He's filled with a stately arrogance and entitlement and would do everything to express his greatness. In Kranzle's performance, that extended to every aspect of the character, even his desperate lute playing. During his famous song, Kranzle delivered with tenderness that actually came through the banal music Wagner wrote for him. Despite hating his actions, the viewer sympathized with his embarrassing behavior and consequences.

Oberons Grove:
In a supeb interpretation, Johannes Martin Kränzle´s Beckmesser stands proudly amid such memorable portrayals of the town clerk as those of Karl Dönch, Eike Wilm Schulte, Hermann Prey, and Sir Thomas Allen. Mr. Kränzle is an attractive man with a lithe figure, and as such there's no reason why he would not consider himself a contender for Eva's hand. The baritone played down the slapstick elements of the role, favoring a genial (though conniving) manner, and thus his degrading defeat at the song contest was more poignant than usual. And before launching his pilfered, askew song, Kränzle gave a wonderfully subtle portrayal of the proverbial nervous wreck. Aligned to this his excellent stagecraft, the singer also has a voice to be reckoned with: clear, warm, and expertly deployed with some bel canto manifestations in his attempts at a serenade. Let's have him back at The Met, and soon!


Weitere Kritiken zur weltweit live HD Kinoübertragung aus der MET:

Der neue Merker (Österreich):
Johannes Martin Kränzle ist ein fabelhafter Beckmesser. Kein verklemmter, hässlicher Zyniker. – ein Gegenspieler zu Sachs, etwas eitel und selbstverliebt, aber hochintelligent.

In fernem Land (Espana):
Sorpresa molt gran amb el magnífic Beckmesser de Johannes Martin Kränzle, baríton de l’òrbita Barenboim, que ja m’havia agradat en altres intervencions wagnerianes a la Tetralogia de Lucerna i els PROMS de 2013, però sobretot amb el seu malèfic Grjasnoj a la núvia del Tsar a Berlín, El seu Beckmesser és vocalment perfecta i teatralment incontestable, amb la dosi justa de caricatura i sense caure en els excessos vulgars i de rialla fàcil amb que tants i tants barítons al llarg de la història han vestit aquest controvertit personatge . Un veritable triomf.

Forumopera (France):
Le Beckmesser de Johannes Martin Kränzle est non seulement un ravissement vocal, mais il est hilarant dans toutes ses expressions scéniques.

Grande Inquisitor (Niederlande):
Johannes Martin Kränzle is een hilarische Beckmesser zonder te overdrijven, maar die toch sympathie kan opwekken.

Seen and heard international (Great Britain):
Johannes Martin Kränzle was outstanding as Beckmesser, the town clerk, who is in unrequited love with Eva. Once again he succeeded in showing the role can be sung – as I suspect it was really conceived – without any unnecessary anti-Semitic caricature and he is just a slightly neurotic, pompous upstart who deserves to be brought down a peg or two. He is not a bad man and he makes such an art of his ‘bad’ singing in Act III.

Trud (Russia):
В по-своему не менее трагическую – но, конечно, с пронзительным комическим обертоном – фигуру вырастает и Бекмессер в интерпретации Кренцле. Кстати, это его дебют на сцене Метрополитен-оперы. Виртуозный баритон (все эти ученые фиоритуры, уморительно пародируемые Вагнером, в самом деле не на шутку заковыристы), он и блистательный каскадный актер, способный выдерживать огромные эпизоды вовсе без пения и слов – достаточно посмотреть сцену кражи рукописи из дома Сакса, где, корчась от боли (накануне его побили в той самой ночной драке) и натыкаясь на все возможные углы, он вдруг обнаруживает заветную поэму, которая, мнится ему, может принести победу на завтрашнем соревновании. А в финале, в момент творческой и жизненной катастрофы – его пение осмеяли, и желанная девушка ему не достанется – лицо Бекмессера-Кренцле искажено не только физической, но и огромной душевной болью.

Place de l´Opera / Operamagazine (Niederlande):
Als het gaat om acteren is Beckmesser zonder meer de belangrijkste rol. Johannes Martin Kränzle vertolkte deze partij met verve: een nogal vals mannetje in de eerste akte en een wanhopige vrijgezel die steeds meer zijn decorum verliest in de twee volgende akten. Kränzle zong uitstekend, ook daar waar hij zogenaamd ‘niet goed’ moest zingen. Eerder vertolkte Kränzle deze rol in Glyndebourne en hij is hard op weg ‘de nieuwe Beckmesser’ te worden.

Communities Digital News:
A comic opera always needs a comic villain. In this one, it’s the constantly scheming Sixtus Beckmesser, portrayed in this production with a convincing but bumbling nastiness by baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle. He is a superb singer as well. He is vocally strong when asserting himself earlier in the opera. But his voice comically stumbles and falters in his contest song in a self-deprecating manner that’s totally consistent with his character’s ultimate ineptitude. This is operatic comedy at its best.

Netwerk24 (South Afrika):
Mens luister ook met oorgawe na Johannes Martin Kränzle se Beckmesser, wat homself briljant beteuel om veral in die tweede bedryf nie ’n karikatuur te word nie. Met ’n veelsydige stem en deeglike teksbe¬handeling kom hy baie ver.

The Arthery:
The telecast included an impressive group of character-singers, especially German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle in his Met debut as the inept villain Beckmesser.

Opera Geek:
Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Beckmesser was truly the highlight of this six hours. For once, Beckmesser was played without being overdone. Beckmesser is a mastersinger himself, after all, he is not supposed to sound ugly. Kränzle managed to portray the snide town clerk while simultaneously keeping his line lyrical, or like that of a mastersinger. His duet with Sachs that ends the second act had the audience in stitches, not because it sounded awful, but because it was actually funny!

Chicago on the aisle:
Johannes Martin Kränzle, as the peevish Beckmesser, came off as a particuarly likable loser — odd, but a real guy, not a page from a comic book.

Ellnikos Typos (Greece):
His supple voice stood him in good stead for a very good performance. German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle got the juicy role of the foolish and nasty Beckmesser. He wants to beat all the mastersingers and get Eva but he makes a laughingstock of himself, gets his comeuppance and does not get the girl. Kränzle gives a superb performance.

Large Stage Live:
Johannes Martin Kränzle made a very strong Beckmesser, bringing out the all the character's fussiness and pedantry while still making him unexpectedly sympathetic. It's far too easy to turn Beckmesser into an unlikable old fool, but this was a more human and believable portrayal. His singing, too, was excellent, maintaining pitch clearly in even the fastest and most awkward passages in this challenging role. The Sydney Morning Herald: Volle is perfectly matched by the superb Beckmesser of Johannes Martin Kraenzle, who plays the pedantic town clerk with dignity and complete lack of coarseness - making him an eminent rival for the hand of Eva.

Le monde (France):
Ensuite par la caractérisation des personnages, jamais forcée, jamais exagérée, même pour Beckmesser, magnifiquement personnifié, incarné même par Johannes Martin Kränzle, fantastique acteur, naturel, ridicule mais pas trop, pathétique mais pas trop.

Musica en Mexico:
Johannes Martin Kränzle domina todos los rincones del inseguro y envidioso Beckmesser, que además sufre de una escoliosis que lo dobla de dolor. En pocas palabras, estuvo fabuloso y nunca exagerado.

IMDb Review (United Kingdom):
Equally outstanding is Johannes Martin Kränzle(no stranger to Wagner, his Alberich having been one of the high points of the La Scala Ring cycle), his voice is warm and robust, more appealing than most bass-baritones singing Beckmesser, but he sings with great character too without distorting the vocal line or compromising the sound of his voice. Like Volle he is a fine actor. Beckmesser is a hard role to play not because of the vocal demands but the character itself, who is often played for laughs and can come across as annoying. Kränzle has impeccable comic timing however- especially in Act 2- as well as actually managing to make his attempt at the Prize Song comedy gold, and brings a menace and characteristic pompous air to the role too. I did too feel a little sympathy for Beckmesser at the end, which normally is unheard of.

Music & Opera:
Johannes Martin Kränzle was outstanding as Beckmesser, the vindictive and authoritarian town clerk and judge of song contestants. He really sang the part instead of mugging through it.

Leid Motief (Belgique):
Johannes Martin Kränzle is de beste Beckmesser van zijn generatie.



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