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The Flying Dutchman: The Movie - Julie Taymor to direct. What might it be like?

Written By The Wagnerian on Tuesday 22 May 2012 | 9:33:00 am

It's not often that the Wagnerian feels fear - you get tough over the years when people find you like Wagner. However, today's announcement that Julie Taymor is to adapt The Dutchman (working title: "Riders On The Storm") as a movie, has left me with a strange sense that there is a potential cloud of doom hanging around a cinema near you at some time in the future - and it might not just be that arising from a rather depressed Dane.

Now oddly, this is not because of Taymor's involvement, for there have been a number of her productions and movie adaptations that I have enjoyed greatly. Look for example to  her movie adaptation of Shakespeare's: Titus Andronicus or the Tempest (see trailers below)- which I enjoyed perhaps more than the average critic. Equally, she is no new-comer to either opera, Wagner or indeed the Dutchman (see further videos below). Finally, she is, in my eyes at least, without-doubt, a director with a masterly sense and eye for interesting, intriguing and intelligent mise en scène - in its broadest meaning.

Indeed, all of the above will allow me to forgive her for "Lion King: The Musical" and even "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark".

No, what concerns me must at present is the outline being distributed as  her Dutchman adaptation -  which makes it sound less like Wagner and more like "Nine to Five" meets the latest Katherine Heigl/Matthew McConaughey "rom-com".

To quote "Broadway Buzz":

"Riders on the Storm sets The Flying Dutchman in the present day, turning the opera into a story about a man who cannot love without dying. He winds up falling for a woman who is tough, hard-headed, a great athlete, but emotionally not all there. (sic)"

One can only hope that Taymor's clear intelligence sees the possible consequences of this story or indeed "Broadway Buzz" is badly informed.