Der fliegende Holländer: ROH 2011 - A Dutchman Without Redemption?

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday, 22 May 2011 | 6:08:00 am

A little late on detailing this (and ROH Meistersinger) but it has been very busy in the world of Wagner this past month. But, better late than never. I will produce updates as they arrive of course.

This is the first revival of Tim Albery’s 2009  "redemption free" one act production. I think it would be fair to say that in its last outing it recived mixed reactions from the critics. It is certain that reviewers all found the production "dark", "depressing",  "bleak" or similar. One assumes that their negative or positive reviews were thus a response to this genuinely "doom" ridden production - see snippets of reviews below . The previously well received, Anja Kampe  returns as Senta,  German Heldenbaritone Falk Struckmann, takes over from Terfel as the Dutchman.. Endrik Wottrich sings the role of Senta’s poor old  rejected lover Erik,  Danish bass Stephen Milling– previously Hunding in Die Walküre and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte -- takes the role of  Senta’s father.  Jeffrey Tate, takes over conducting duties  from Marc Albrecht.




Anja Kampe


Falk Struckmann



Performance Dates: (2011)
18 | 21 | 26 | 29 October
1 | 4 November



Cast


Der Holländer: Falk Struckmann

Senta:              Anja Kampe

Daland            Stephen Milling

Steersman:      John Easterlin

Mary:             Clare Shearer
Erik:               Endrik Wottrich


CREDITS

Director:                 Tim Albery

Set designs:            Michael Levine

Costume designs:   Constance Hoffmann

Lighting design:      David Finn

Movement:            Philippe Giraudeau

Conductor:            Jeffrey Tate



Reviews For 2009 The Flying Dutchman Royal Opera House:


Rupert Christianse: The telegraph:

"Tim Albery's admirably lucid and focused production frames these two unforgettable interpretations with an abstract but undistractingly modern setting, designed by Michael Levine. A curved iron sheet, artfully lit by David Finn, suggests a dirty trawler, the unquiet sea and a bleak northern port, but the atmosphere is also rich with the menace and magic of a ghost story, and the austere stage picture is enlivened with plenty of spectacular and spooky effects."
Hugo Shirley: Musicalcriticisim.com
"Tim Albery's approach is unusual since it posits an unflinchingly tragic view. To be sure, opting for the 'Dresden' ending, without the post-Tristan reprise of the 'redemption' theme in the final bars, removes much of the certainty of the drama's conclusion. However, Albery's vision swings beyond ambiguity into tragedy to such a degree that it threatens to undermine the whole opera. Quite apart from anything else, it makes for a pretty bleak evening for the audience and results in a dramatically weak conclusion: as per the programme's synopsis, here 'Senta remains behind, alone".
Barry Millington: Evening Standard
"Albery is fortunate to have the brilliant designer Michael Levine, for it is his imagination, enhanced by the lighting of David Finn, that provides most that is memorable: the black shadow that envelops the stage at the first appearance of the Dutchman’s ship, the lowering from the flies of the sewing factory, and the raising of the stage to reveal the below-deck quarters of the Norwegian crew".

Keith McDonnell: musicOMH
"Maybe Albery needs a course of Prozac, especially as the preciously few dramatic moments, the rain drenched drop curtain during the overture, the appearance of the spectral ship and Senta's ballad, tended to grow organically out of Michael Levine's ingenious designs than Albery's direction." 

Andrew Clements: The Guardian
"The basis of Michael Levine's set - a curving plane that could be the deck of a ship, or its prone hull - is essentially timeless and non-specific, but Constance Hoffman's costumes fix the action firmly in the present, in a small, north-European seafaring community. It's the bleak confines of the women in such a community that fuel Senta's obsession with the story of the Dutchman. Her fantasy, symbolised in the model of the Dutchman's three-masted ship that Kampe clutches like a comfort blanket, seems as much about escape from the endless drudgery of that claustrophobic life as it is about idealised love; she is after redemption as much as the Dutchman is"