Wagnerian Opera Designer Dies

Günther Schneider-Siemssen, the opera stage designer who created the Romantic, naturalistic sets that allowed a generation of Wagnerites at the Metropolitan Opera to watch Rhinemaidens frolic in the Rhine and hear Meistersingers sing in a fairy-tale Nuremberg, died on Tuesday in Vienna. He was 88. While Schneider-Siemssen embraced a variety of visual styles over the course of his career, he became best known in the United States for the unapologetically traditional sets he designed for a memorable run of operas at the Met directed by Otto Schenk, particularly from the Wagner canon. The productions, which flew in the face of the modern reinterpretations that were in vogue, proved popular with operagoers. Including with moi.

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