[Met Performance] CID:213190
Der Fliegende Holländer {89} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/13/1968.

(Debut: Berislav Klobucar

Metropolitan Opera House
January 13, 1968


Dutchman................Cornell MacNeil
Senta...................Leonie Rysanek
Erik....................Ticho Parly
Daland..................Giorgio Tozzi
Mary....................Nancy Williams
Steersman...............William Olvis

Conductor...............Berislav Klobucar [Debut]

Director................Herbert Graf
Staged by...............Nikolaus Lehnhoff
Set designer............Robert Edmond Jones
Set designer............Charles Elson
Costume designer........Mary Percy Schenck

Der Fliegende Holländer received nine performances this season.

Review of Harriett Johnson in the post

Rysanek Makes 'Dutchman' Exciting

There is northing more rare, than an exciting "good" woman, and she's in town - soprano Leonie Rysanek, back at the Metropolitan Opera Saturday night for the first time since the 1964-65 season. She arrived with that gloomy, spectral ship, The Flying Dutchman, by legend doomed to sail the seas forever. Wagner's twist with the story was to have its captain saved by a maid who would be faithful to him until death. So Senta became that girl, silly as it seems to many of us that she gives up her handsome huntsman, Erik, for the chalk-faced ghosty Dutchman, especially when it means that she goes off tout de suite to an unknown eternity. "The Flying Dutchman" swung on the Met's shores at 8 p.m. and remained almost a half hour longer than the scheduled close, 10:50 p.m. Yugoslavian conductor, Barisal Klobucar, was making his Met debut and a slow first act, plus two long intermissions accounted for the overtime.

With Miss Rysanek entering Act II, this cursed "Dutchman" brought good luck along with the proverbial bad. There are those who maintain the ship can still be seen during storms off the Cape of Good Hope. In any case, those who heard the wind machine last night at the Met would hardly be frightened. It went on and off like a computer, with trigger efficiency. In Act I there was little feeling of Wuthering Heights brooding. The ship's blood-red sails flashed on the screen with the speed of a jet. (It's supposed to come fast, and the Met outdid itself.) The sun at the end of Act III was quite a jolly circle and did honors for Senta and the Dutchman who didn't appear "rising above the wreck." But no matter.

Miss Rysanek, in better voice, and singing with more vocal finesse than we can remember, was a thrill as Senta, and the audience welcomed her after Acts I and III as if nobody else mattered. She is a great artist and, when on the way to her best, is wonderful. She was a powerful Senta from first to last. Even her simulated wild fall at the end made us believe in the sea instead of the trampoline. Her projection of the sinister atmosphere - transfixed in her chair, not having sung a note, and surrounded by merry girls spinning - was nothing short of a phenomenal chill.

Better Eric than Tristan

Cornell MacNeils's ample, resonant voice is made to order for the role of the Dutchman, although he didn't communicate enough of the sepulchral quality of the character in voice, or interpretation, he achieved more histrionically than he usually does.

Klobucar began with a disappointing. Act I. The Overture lacked incisivness, the timing throughout lacked thrust, and there were many dull moments. Whenever he wished more impact he began beating with two hands which accomplished nothing. Acts II and III picked up, however, and, as he is an experienced and routined maestro, who will conduct "Meistersinger" and "Lohengrin" at Bayreuth next summer, we will give him time.

Ticho Parly, whose voice has a sweet, lyrical quality, was eons better as Erik than he was as Tristan last season. Nancy Williams was satisfactory as Mary; William Olvis, excellent, as the Steersman. Giorgio Tozzi, familiar and welcome as Daland, Senta's father, and a cheerful member of this operatic family, sang with authority, richness and, as usual, was impressive as actor. Nikolaus Lehnhoff was stage director.

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