[Met Performance] CID:307060
Der Fliegende Holländer {127} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/9/1992.

(Debut: Paul Groves
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 9, 1992


DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER {127}
Wagner-Wagner

Dutchman................James Morris
Senta...................Hildegard Behrens
Erik....................Gary Lakes
Daland..................Matti Salminen
Mary....................Mignon Dunn
Steersman...............Paul Groves [Debut]

Conductor...............James Conlon

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

Der Fliegende Holländer received eight performances this season.


Production photos of Der Fliegende Holländer by Hans Fahrmeyer.

Review of Martin Mayer in Opera (UK)

America Franco-Italian Dutchman

New York. One of the stories that came out of Wagner's famous visit to Rossini in Paris was the claim that the old maestro had said that he really could have accomplished something had he been German. Because he had the talent. "Der Fliegende Hollander" makes the opposite case-that Wagner would have been a glorious composer of operas rather than 'Musikdramas' if he had been Italian. Except for the Dutchman's monologue, which is admittedly a large exception, the work draws mostly-and happily-from traditions south of the Rhine. Most of the time, this debt to warmer climates is ignored, there being so much ice in the setting; but on January 14 at the Metropolitan Opera James Conlon brought out all the Franco-Italian elements in the score, to lovely effect. Like Levine, Conlon used the no-intermission version, the entr'actes helping the dramatic linkage, and his lightness of touch made a quite wonderful interlude of the 'quodlibet' of the sewing song and the sea shanty before the third act. The Everding staging, set in the late-19th century, remains elegant.

James Morris was again our Dutchman, grave and sonorous, especially effective because he has learned that there isn't much to be gained by acting this role. The man who did act, to great effect, was Matti Salminen as Daland, a role which somehow doesn't have a dull moment, musically or dramatically, when he sings it. The Steersman was a debut artist, Paul Groves, not scheduled for the performance; he was bright and vital, a major asset. Gary Lakes was Erik, a role that suits him well. The only problem was the Senta of Hildegard Behrens, swooping uncertainly on to and off her notes, who seemed at last to have been damaged by her always unorthodox voice production. The hero of the evening, however, was Conlon, who on the strength of his work here ("Boris," "Khovanshchina," "Figaro" and now "Dutchman") has I think entered the first rank of the world's opera conductors.



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