[Met Performance] CID:127310
Der Fliegende Holländer {42} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/22/1939.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 22, 1939


DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER {42}

Dutchman................Friedrich Schorr
Senta...................Kirsten Flagstad
Erik....................René Maison
Daland..................Emanuel List
Mary....................Kerstin Thorborg
Steersman...............Karl Laufkötter

Conductor...............Erich Leinsdorf

Review of Irving Kolodin in the Sun

FLAGSTAD AS SENTA

"Flying Dutchman" Heard at Metropolitan

Even though "Der Fliegende Hollander" is an opera that enjoys little favor with the Metropolitan's standees (there was only a scattering of them to be observed last night) the management is to be thanked for its persistence in maintaining the work in the repertory. Not only does it provide Kirsten Flagstad with a role, in which she does some of her most magical singing, especially in the recitation of the Dutchman's amazing saga, but it affords an opportunity for studying the methods of a great composer when they were yet in their formative stage. The opportunity is an especially instructive one when the performance follows, as this one did, a "Tristan" on the previous day.

Beyond Mme. Flagstad's superb Senta, the performance had the interest of being Erich Leinsdorf's second public encounter with this score. The young conductor's direction is still deficient in the ultimate drama and impact that the work contains, but it has gained materially in surety since the first performance. One wonders whether some of the discontent with Mr. Leinsdorf's lack of intensity may not be conditioned by his desire to keep the orchestra beneath the singers at all times. Certainly no one could have treated the voice of Friedrich Schorr with more discretion than Mr. Leinsdorf did last night in the first act.

This singer's impersonation of Vanderdecken suffers by the strain the role imposes on his top tones, but it is a splendid portrait that he offers, composed with care, insight and dramatic imagination. The remainder of the cast was as it had been with Emanuel List as Daland, Kerstin Thorborg as Mary and Rene Maison as Erik.



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