Set in 16th Century Nuremburg, the story explores the annual song competition and rivalries of the Guilds that controlled the city. Pogner, the goldsmith, will give his daughter’s hand in marriage to the winner of the song contest, Walther von Stolzing wishes to take part but fails to understand the archaic rules and regulations that surround the entrants. He is, of course, already in love with Eva. Hans Sachs, the shoemaker, schools him in the requirements and encourages the newcomer to share his ideas. This brings us to Wagner’s main theme, what is art and how do we define it?