The Mastersingers of Nuremburg
Richard Wagner

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The second of 7 entries for Wagner in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This peaked in the first chart in 1996 at its highest position of 174 and it didn't appear at all in the 2015 Hall of Fame.

The Mastersingers of Nuremburg is a typically epic Wagnerian triumph, clocking in at around four and a half hours. But within that huge running time you'll not only find some belting tunes, but also some incredible set-pieces that saw Wagner inch ever-closer to his dramatic ideal of a seamless work of operatic art. It's his only comedy and the only one that takes place in the real world, but don't that let put you off — this is ripping stuff from start to finish, especially the overture.

Wolfgang Koch, Emma Bell and Simon O'Neill in Antonio Pappano's 2011 production for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Image by Clive Barda.