Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Flying Dutchman

I'm an ignoramus and won't attempt a serious critique but the current ENO production of The Flying Dutchman was musically thrilling and gripping through its non-stop 2h20 performance. With its combination of Demon Lover and accursed hero doomed to wander throughout eternity it's undiluted high Romanticism and I guess benefits from being played full-heartedly without much post-modern tricksiness. Traditionalists will doubtless resist the introduction of Senta when young, silently absorbing the fantasy of saving a villain's soul, not to mention a sailors' orgy with costumes and activities that interfere with the music.  But the orchestral dynamic and clarity drive through triumphantly, with an emotional coldness that sharpens the impact.

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