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Der fliegende Holländer (1986)

When Daland and his Norwegian sailors spot the Dutchman's ship, they hail him. He tells them that he is doomed to sail the seas and can come on land once every seven years to seek ... See full summary »




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Credited cast:
Lisbeth Balslev ...
Graham Clark ...
Simon Estes ...
Matti Salminen ...
Anny Schlemm ...
Robert Schunk ...


When Daland and his Norwegian sailors spot the Dutchman's ship, they hail him. He tells them that he is doomed to sail the seas and can come on land once every seven years to seek redemption from the curse. Daland, who is rather greedy, hopes the wealthy stranger will marry his daughter, although Erik, a young hunter, has already been courting her. They go to Daland's house, where Senta promises obedience to her father's wishes. She has been feeling that Erik is a little bit too conventional and boring and she finds the stranger mysterious and romantic, so she sings her desire to be the woman who can redeem the Dutchman. He warns that her fate won't be pretty if she swears fidelity but fails to keep it, but Senta has fallen in love at first sight and pledges her faithfulness unto death. Party time! But when the sailors and their women call to the Dutch ship for the crew to come ashore and join the celebration, it becomes clear that the ship is manned by ghosts. Written by Fiona Kelleghan

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User Reviews

A great Flying Dutchman
21 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As an admirer of Wagner's music I was all for seeing this production, as over the past few months I have really been taken by Matti Salminen, who plays Daland here. While there are those who would prefer the 1989 and 1975 productions for how the story is told, this production is hugely enjoyable and has a lot to like.

The story of the opera is always riveting, and the characters too. Daland is wonderfully ambivalent and Senta is to me one of the stronger Wagner female characters. The music is magnificent as you would expect especially the Overture, the Spinning Chorus, Mogst Du Mein Kind and the very end.

While I do think the aforementioned 1989 production of this opera are marginally better, I do find this production very impressive. It was a controversial production at the time, with people apparently feeling that it didn't address the music and libretto. I personally didn't find that. The opera is full of dramatic and tragic themes, and Kupfer conveys to quite an astonishing level.

The production's staging is very expressive, especially right at the end, and I liked that the story was part romantic melodrama and part ghost story. Great costumes and sets help, and this production has exactly these, with the sets and lighting never too drab. The picture and sound quality are clear and the camera work is clever.

As you often find with opera productions it is superb musically. The orchestral playing is very powerful as the score often demands, and the conducting is charismatic without ever becoming too methodical.

Matti Salminen is superb as Daland, ambivalent throughout whether providing a means of escape or imprisonment. For me, Salminen is one of the finer Dalands I've heard or seen, and I've heard the likes of Talvela. Anny Schlemm has a suitably intense presence, and Robert Schunk gives Erik depth and interest in what is essentially a two-dimensional role.

Two performances make this experience very special though. One is Simon Estes as the Dutchman. Wonderful acting, you feel both pity and dread for this Dutchman, and even better singing, I have heard many impressive Dutchmen, but not many as powerful vocally as Estes(Friederich Schorr and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau do come to mind though). The other is Lisbeth Baslev as Senta, the character is always present and incredibly magnetic, Baslev brings all those qualities and also subtlety too.

In conclusion, a great production. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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