[Met Performance] CID:298760
New Production
Der Fliegende Holländer {116} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/11/1989.

(Debut: Robert Gambill
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 11, 1989
New Production


DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER {116}
Wagner-Wagner

Dutchman................James Morris
Senta...................Mechthild Gessendorf
Erik....................Gary Lakes
Daland..................Paul Plishka
Mary....................Judith Christin
Steersman...............Robert Gambill [Debut]

Conductor...............James Levine

Production..............August Everding
Set designer............Hans Schavernoch
Costume designer........Lore Haas
Lighting designer.......Gil Wechsler

Der Fliegende Holländer received eleven performances this season.

Production gift of The Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund for Lincoln Center
and Mr. and Mrs. Samuel L. Tedlow

[This production was performed without intermission.]

Review of Martin Mayer in Opera Magazine (UK)


The Met's arrival in the New Year was bracketed by three productions with the artistic director on the podium, which meant a considerable improvement in the company's attention to detail. All three were a credit to the house, and one-the new Everding production of "Der fliegende Hollander"-was something more.
Everding sets the opera quite late in the 19th century (Daland on arriving at the sail-shop in his living room aggressively flicks a switch to turn on the lights). The Dutchman is master of an enormous steel-hulled ocean liner, its hull towering above Daland's boat. It arrives in the fjord in a spectacular fog, and is revealed with its blood-red anchor dropped. A ladder descends from the flies, and the Dutchman comes halfway down to sing 'Die Frist ist um'. It is in this case James Morris, and the voice bathes us all. We are not dealing here with great intensity-Morris cannot offer that-but the combination of vocal resource and educability gives pleasure and conviction. Everding eases the pressure on him by the conception, for this production centers, not on the awful presence of the condemned wanderer and his enslaved crew, but on the romantic overcommitment of Senta: the Dutchman is more object than actor when you put him in the age of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

If we had not lost Eva Marton, our originally scheduled Senta, the evening might have been considerably more powerful. Marton is nobody's Duse, but the thrill of her duet with Morris might have yielded that suspension of disbelief this piece badly requires. As it was, we had Mechthild Gessendorf, who was a great disappointment both vocally and dramatically. Daland on December 18 was the ever-admirable Paul Plishka, Robert Gambill was a light but effective Steersman, Gary Lakes an earnest and musical, but boring, Erik. James Levine played the work straight through without intermission, as the composer originally intended, and dealt with The Dutchman on a sensuous-surface level, which is fine for those of us who think that's all there is there, less fine for those who have higher views of the opera.



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