Magazine article Gramophone

Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander

Magazine article Gramophone

Wagner: Der Fliegende Hollander

Article excerpt

Wagner                    [DVD][Br]  Der fliegende Hollander Samuel Youn bass-bar      Hollander Ricarda Merbeth sop       Senta Franz-Josef Selig bass    Daland Tomislav Muzek ten        Erik Christa Mayer mez         Mary Benjamin Bruns ten        Steersman 

Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra / Christian Thielemann

Stage director Jan Philipp Gloger

Video director Martin Eidenberger

Opus Arte (F) [DVD] OA1140D; (F) [Br] OABD7147D (140' + 25' * NTSC * 16:9 * 1080i * DTS-HD MA5.1, DTS5.1 & LPCM stereo * O * S/s)

Recorded live, July 25,2013

Extra features: Cast gallery and interviews

So much of this new Bayreuth Flying Dutchman has such confidence and authority--singing, conducting, abstract video imagery --that one starts to anticipate a landmark production. Ultimately, such hopes are dashed. But, until then, one revels in Christian Thielemann's masterly handling of the Overture's tempo modifications and, thereafter, the lustrous sonorities that support the singers in this single-act version of the opera. Visually, the tone is set by slow-oozing video imagery during the Overture, similar to a Rorschach inkblot test, alternately running down from the top or rising from the bottom (like a growing forest), suggesting disparate worlds attempting to intersect. The endless spatial perspective offered by video animation suggests the eternity in which the Dutchman lives.

Variations on the ink imagery carry over into facial birthmarks among the ghost-ship's crew. Samuel Youn's Dutchman, for one, has one side of his head shaved to reveal his modern marks of Cain. Early on, he slashes his wrists but no blood comes; a powerful image. In contrast, Daland and his sailors are dressed like grey-suited corporate types returning from a shopping trip. Ricarda Merbeth's Senta is taller and looks older than Youn, underscoring the vastly different worlds they come from. …

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