Der Fliegende Holländer at Seattle Opera
August 25, 2007
* Notes *
Stephen Wadsworth's 1989 production Der Fliegende Holländer revived at Seattle Opera from August 4-25, 2007, and I caught the fifth and sixth performances on a weekend jaunt to the Emerald City. Thomas Lynch's sets are meant to be 19th century, but the costumes looked like contemporary street clothing. The singing was mediocre. The steersman, Jason Collins, had poor diction. Daniel Sumegi was quiet in the role of Daland. Greer Grimsley was an impassive Dutchman, one could hear him but he just did not seem terribly engaged. Jane Eaglen (Senta) was least unpleasant, her voice is full but not overpowering. Her acting was terrible, she is especially unsuited for the role of a young, sweet girl as she can barely move. The choreography as a whole was boring, the singers mostly just stood around. I did enjoy hearing the chorus and the orchestra played well under the direction of Asher Fisch.
* Tattling *
The production was drawn out from having two intermissions, perhaps this was for the scene changes as the sets were not simple. Often times this opera is given with no intermission at all, so it is a bit strange that Wadsworth/Lynch decided to make one of Wagner's shorter operas longer.
The audience was the worst-behaved that I have observed at a Wagner opera in Seattle. There was talking, beeping, and the like. They kept clapping for the sets. Worst though was the Act II set, which emitted a high pitched noise. Perhaps the lights were to blame, but it was almost unbearable the second time around.