Le Grande Macabre
Eugene Onegin

Der Fliegende Holländer at SFO

The last performance of Der Fliegende Holländer this season was this evening. The production came from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and was directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Raimund Bauer's set was stark and Andrea Schmidt-Futterer's costumes were reminiscent of samurai from space. Denni Sayers' choreography was slightly clunky, the women spinning their hair was especially absurd.

Soprano Nina Stemme was good as Senta, her voice is has a fine clarity. Bass-baritone Juha Uusitalo was sufficient as the Dutchman, certainly a very strong voice, perhaps lacking in beauty.

The thing that struck me the most about this performance was not the production, but the music. It is filled with drama and excitement, it is more like opera than Wagner's later works. The lack of intermission made the whole work very immediate, one stays in the same world for 150 minutes.