Monday, 22 June 2015

Richard Wagner, Der fliegende Holländer - Semperoper Dresden

Performance 18th June

As last big journey during the season, I travelled to Dresden once more to see one of my favorites: Wagner's Holländer. The dutchman was the first Wagner opera I ever saw and is basically one of the reasons why I am Wagnerian today.
The production in Dresden is totally absurd and foolish. It seemed like you hear the opera and see something totally different. So many things did not make any sense and I think they did not take the piece seriously enough. Florentine Klepper's production is just total nonsense even though the staging (Martina Segna) and the costumes (Anna Sofie Tuma) were fine I did not really like the whole performance optically.
Musically I thought it was quite good. I expected it to be a little bit better but I have to say that my expectations were quite high from the very beginning. Constantin Trinks and the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden gave a very strong and accentuated performance, but sometimes a little bit too loud.The singers (who had quite strong voices) were covered by the orchestra several times and I do not think it was due to weak voices...
What I liked very much was the choir (Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden) with great strong singing in the several choir scenes of the opera. Especially the big choir scene during the third act was a pleasure to hear.
In the role of the helmsman I heard Timothy Oliver who seemed not to be totally comfortable in the upper register but anyway he did a fine job in this small role.
Tichina Vaughn sang the role of Mary and showed a very profound an strong mezzo / alto voice. Especially in the lower register her voice sounded warm an strong while in the upper register her vibrato tended to get a little bit too strong. Nevertheless she gave a lovely performance in her role.
As Erik Tomislav Mužek had some issues with the role. He simply does not have the voice for this part for his light lyric tenor voice is not able to deliver it appropriately. His phrasing showed that he is quite strained and he did not have the neccessary calmness to perform the role with enough ease.
Georg Zeppenfeld gave a great Daland with his profound and dark voice. As I said the orchestra was quite loud and so from time to time his voice was covered which was quite a pity. Zeppenfeld's performance was wonderful without any doubt and he surely was one of the highlights.
In the role of the dutchman Evgeny Nikitin was one of the highly anticipated performances of the evening and I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed. He has quite a strong voice, but his phrasing was very rough and clipped. There surely are people who would like it, but it was not really my taste.
Christiane Libor on the other hand did not fail to convince me (once again). Her Senta has the perfect balance between gentle delicate singing and dramatic outbursts. I am just not getting tired of her voice which has a very distinctive timbre and sheer endless power reserves. Her ballad was really captivating and the second act duet was basically leaded by her.
Generally, as I said, I expected a little bit more but anyway I did like the performance in the end. Therefore I would give it 8 stars.

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