[Met Performance] CID:127530
Der Fliegende Holländer {43} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/8/1940.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 8, 1940


DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER {43}

Dutchman................Herbert Janssen
Senta...................Kirsten Flagstad
Erik....................René Maison
Daland..................Emanuel List
Mary....................Kerstin Thorborg
Steersman...............Anthony Marlowe

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

Review of Pitts Sanborn in the World-Telegram

Janssen in Title Role of Flying Dutchman

Feature of Program Is Superb Singing of Miss Flagstad as Senta

At the Metropolitan Opera House last evening "The Flying Dutchman" had the stage again in the presence of an audience not too large and moderately enthusiastic. There is no use in dwelling once more on the vagaries of the stage direction or the version of the work used.

The special interest of the occasion lay in the first appearance here of Herbert Janssen as the Dutchman. His impersonation gave evidence of careful study, but unfortunately nature has denied him the voice for the part. The Dutchman is really a bass-baritone role and Mr. Janssen has rather a high lyric voice.

Consequently he was effective vocally only in the music's upper reaches. Dramatically he might be described briefly as the perfect and immutable isolationist.

The Steersman with the love song was allotted to Edward Johnson's newly engaged tenor, Anthony Marlowe, who, always so far in the nautical tradition, where the Metropolitan had effected [sic] is concerned, his Metropolitan debut lately as the invisible sailor in "Tristan und Isolde." A jolly mess he made of his second assignment there.

A feature of the performance, as things turned out, was Kirsten Flagstad's Senta. The Norwegian soprano did better with the ballad than she has done formerly, and in the duet with the Dutchman and again in the last act her singing was superb. She also played the visionary and heroic Norwegian girl convincingly.

Some of the orchestral performance was no credit to any band, and Erich Leinsdorf at the conductor's desk was often quite pedestrian as well as at moments quite Vesuvian.



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