Almost. Hans-Joachim Ketelson's effectively cartoonish Beckmesser may be true to Wagner's intended caricature of a critic, but the piece was much richer with Thomas Allen (the 2001 Beckmesser, seen on the DVD of that revival). Allen's character felt as understandably and deeply as his young rival -- if in a prickly, ineloquent, inappropriate way -- and his spite was full of an old man's fear. Beckmesser's loss, here a bit of derision, becomes with Allen a sad (and funny) necessity. (In fact I'd have liked even more humaneness: at San Francisco's last Meistersinger, director Hans-Peter Lehmann had Beckmesser and Sachs -- Allen and Morris, in fact -- actually together at the end. This sort of thing is often a cheap and horrible idea -- Ariadne is worst abused by such license -- but I think it improves Wagner's comedy.)
But never mind that caveat: there is no substitute for seeing Act III well-sung and well-conducted in the house. Go.
Simon Boccanegra is, like Oedipus, the story of a usurper. (Simon does get into office through the process, it's true, but it's quite clearly tainted.) This explains -- or rather stands for -- why the story ends with his undoing, but it also made me more receptive to Thomas Hampson in the title part. He's far from the classic "Verdi baritone", but the Hampsonisms for which he's taken much stick over the decades have, with the accretion of grit and a hint of hoarseness, aged into interesting versions of themselves. It sounds both right and a bit out of place -- much as an old pirate might seem, even after twenty-five years as Doge.
This was a terrifically effective show all around, not least Fabio Luisi in the pit. Many seemed moved to tears. I have no idea how Maury could have walked out on it, unless it was post-Jenufa hangover.