Which is the longest opera?

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (“The Master-Singers of Nuremberg”) by Richard Wagner, is a musical drama in three acts. Musical dramas are called operas and this one is the longest opera that is commonly performed. It takes nearly four and a half hours without any breaks. It was first performed on 21 June 1868 at the National Theatre in Munich.

The plot of this opera is set in Nuremberg in the mid-16th century, when it was a free imperial city. Nuremberg was also one of the centres of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. The story revolves around the city’s group of Master Singers, also known as Meistersinger, which is an association of amateur poets and musicians. These men were primarily master craftsmen of various other trades. The master singers, just like in their craft, had developed a craftsman-like approach to music-making. They developed an intricate system of rules for composing and performing songs. The opera is built on this time in history and the traditions of these master singers. One of the main characters of the opera is the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, who was the most famous of the master-singers in that era.

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg holds a very special place in Wagner’s career.

Picture Credit : Google

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