Der Fliegende Hollander

Swiss Dutchman and Four-Handed Piano

As the year pootles to a close, need a quick catch-up on a couple of events of a couple of weeks ago, and they are two concerts in which I have to declare an interest, knowing people performing in both.

On 15 December, Opernhaus Zürich brought their Fliegende Holländer over, with everything bar the sets, and launched it headlong onto the flat oceans of the Royal Festival Hall. As with much Wagner in concert, it still transcended the rather brightly-lit auditorium and the dry acoustic, and from our seats in the side stalls (sort of ‘slips’ seats along the edge) they managed to get across a good measure of the thrill and drama of the score. (more…)

The Dutchman that flew, except when it didn’t

Hazy Sunset at seaTim Albery’s production of Der Fliegende Holländer returned to Covent Garden and, better late than never, I’m able to jot down my thoughts on the last night, 4 November.

It was notable for a very split approach to the pacing of the drama: onwards from the meeting of Senta and the Dutchman, right through to the conclusion, it was electric; Senta’s Ballad, however, seemed to me a perverse essay in how slowness can be confused with profundity and, momentarily, it threatened to derail the whole two-hour-and-a-half hour enterprise. (more…)