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Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" at Royal Opera House London
Johannes Martin Kränzle as Sixtus Beckmesser
Photo © Clive Barda

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Royal Opera House, London 2017
(I: Holten, D: Pappano):

Seen and Heard International:
This performance was also memorable for Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Beckmesser who was undoubted star of this show.

Opera Today:
Johann Martin Kränzle was outstanding as Beckmesser, preening and prim, and oozing smug self-satisfaction. He pulled off the ‘singing badly well’ paradox, and acted superbly with his voice. After his final humiliation, he lurked in the shadows, his peacock robes replaced by a grubby white vest; a troubling figure of pathos.

Johannes Martin Kränzle producing perhaps the best vocal acting of the evening as the hapless Beckmesser.

The Critics Circle:
Terfel´s Sachs has a formidable nemesis in Johannes Martin Kränzle’s Beckmesser, who offers splendidly nuanced singing and a subtle, well-developed character – fussy, precious, insecure. He also grabs our sympathy upon losing his nerve in the contest.

The Guardian:
Johannes Martin Kränzle gives a performance of wonderful nuance as poor, insufferable Beckmesser.

Whats on Stage:
Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), for his part, kept a firm grip on the opera that Wagner actually wrote. The German baritone's touchingly hapless Beckmesser transcended the production with some fine singing (where Wagner allows) and expert buffoonery in Act 2 as Terfel's Sachs hammered his shoe.

Trend 247:
Johannes Martin Kränzle is top of the class for his star acting and singing that provided the backbone.

The Telegraph:
Johannes Martin Kränzle is superb as a prissy but pitiable Beckmesser.

Classical Source:
Johannes Martin Kränzle’s excellent Beckmesser was spared caricature-casting and was all the stronger for it holding the role together with a touching integrity. His despoliation of the ‘Prize Song’ is very funny.

The Stage:
The show comes together, though, for the final scene, where the blend of ancient and modern seems more purposeful, while the humiliation of Johann Martin Kranzle’s exceptional Beckmesser is just as troubling as it should be.

The Times:
Johannes Martin Kränzle´s Beckmesser is an irrestibly funny study in fidgety mediocrity.

The most engaging performance, though, is from baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle, who gives an amusing turn as the effete and confounded cad Beckmesser.

Financial Times:
Aside from Johannes Martin Kränzle’s delightfully fussy Beckmesser, nobody else is on Terfel’s level.

Beckmesser is a truly comic character in the mould of Malvolio in Twelfth Night. He is arrogant, vainglorious and pompous, all qualities brought out splendidly by Johannes Martin Kränzle in this production.

Evening Standard:
Beckmesser (the excellent Johannes Martin Kränzle), stripped humiliatingly of his robes, is movingly consoled only by Eva.

Politiken (Copenhagen):
...mens den tyske baryton Johannes Martin Kränzle med praecist doseret mimik understrege, at det utaknemmelige parti som den latterlige Beckmesser er en specialitet for ham, som han ogsa har leveret pa The Met i New York.

Deyli Haber (Istanbul):
Johannes Martin Kränzle, zavallı, çekilmez Beckmesser gibi harika bir nüans performansı sunuyor.

Mundoclasico (Espana):
Es, por ejemplo, irresistible ver al antológico Beckmesser de Johannes Martin Kränzle acompañando su lied desde el clavicordio mientras mira nerviosamente los papelitos con el texto como si fuera una partitura mal aprendida.

Cooltura (London , Polska):
Johannes Martin Kranzle był niezwykle przekonujący w roli Beckmessera.

Opera online:
...while it is hard to picture anyone playing Beckmesser better than Johannes Martin Kränzle, so strong are his gestures and sense of comic timing. He may be well established in mainland Europe but he only made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2014 as Beckmesser, having played the part for Glyndebourne in 2011, and his Royal Opera debut only came last September when he played Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte.

A younger theatre:
The comedic performance of Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser is simply fantastic for an opera that is at most only mildly amusing.

Beckmesser (Espana):
Una alegría puede considerarse el hecho de volver a ver en un escenario al barítono Johannes Martin Kränzle tras su grave enfermedad, que parece haber quedado atrás. Su Beckmesser fue adecuado, con voz atractiva y buenas dotes escénicas.

Johannes Martin Kränzle earns everything from laughs to pity as the would-be contender for Eva's hand; his singing, be it "bad" or "good", was wildly impressive in execution; he created a Beckmesser who shows just how little affect comes from overthought art.

Fanaticos da Opera:
German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle made an outstanding Sixtus Beckmesser both in vocal and scenic performance and was sublime in the last act.

Crescendo (France):
Johannes Martin Kränzle présentait une admirable composition de Beckmesser, scéniquement et vocalement bien dosée.

L´Ápe musicale (Italia):
Johannes Martin Kränzle è bravissimo, così convincente nell’impersonare il più puro spocchioso del mondo da farci comprendere le sue ragioni, muovendo quasi a pietà e compassione con un personaggio altrimenti negativo.

Plays To See:
Johannes Martin Kränzle portrayed his anthological Beckmesser with poise, humour and a supreme awareness of how he wished to interact through every phrase.

Opera Online (France):
La sérénade comique de Beckmesser est enchanteresse et n’est due qu’à l’excellente interprétation de Kränzle et Bryn Terfel (Sachs). Difficile de trouver meilleur Beckmesser que Johannes Martin Kränzle : sa gestuelle et son sens de l’humour millimétré font mouche.

Fanaticos da Opera:
German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle made an outstanding Sixtus Beckmesser both in vocal and scenic performance and was sublime in the last act.

Beckmesser, the craven town clerk, was brilliantly acted and sung by Johannes Martin Kraenzle. His comical timing and mimicry was masterful, his singing impeccable. This Beckmesser’s arc from ambitious lech to failed suitor and ultimately humiliated old man was hugely nuanced and ultimately touching.

The Independent:
Johannes Martin Kränzle as Beckmesser treading a judicious line between comedy and pathos.

Operamagazine (Niederlande):
...maar de show wordt gestolen door de kemphanen Sachs en Beckmesser, schitterend vertolkt door Bryn Terfel en Johannes Martin Kränzle.

Mit Recht die größte Begeisterung konnte Johannes Martin Kränzle als Beckmesser für sich verbuchen. Sein beredtes und nuancenreiches Spiel saß auf den Punkt und gab herrlich unterhaltsam den hier von der Regie geforderten sich lächerlich machenden alternden Slapstick-Komödianten in ebenfalls ganz alter Tradition.

Altamusica (France):
Cette mise en scène a au moins l’avantage de beaucoup faire rire, grâce à un Johannes Martin Kränzle d’un niveau incroyable dans l’humour typiquement anglais qu’il distille au personnage de Beckmesser, fantastique dans ses mimiques.

The Jewish Chronicle:
But Johannes Martin Kranzle’s Beckmesser is world class.

Daily Mail:
Johannes Martin Kränzle a perfect foil for Terfel. Kränzle’s brilliantly observed Beckmesser – tall and spare, puffed up with self-love, and lurching from pratfall to pratfall – makes him a dead cert for ‘Philip Hammond: The Opera’.