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Reviews 2010

Der Fliegende Hollander - Adelaide 2009

Terence Watson

For me, the most arresting and memorable Dutchman I've seen live was the 2003 Bayreuth production directed by Claus Guth, conducted electrifyingly by Marc Albrecht, but sung with mixed results by Jukka Rasilainen (Dutchman), Jaako Rhyaenen (Daland), Adrienne Dugger (Senta - the best voice by far), Endrik Wottrich (Erik - hunky to look at, but not a patch on Stuart Skelton's power, lyricism and accuracy), Uta Priew (Mary - a bit past it) and Norbert Ernst (the helmsman - had a much bigger, rather scary, acting part than usual). I reviewed this production for the Wagner Society in 2004. In short, it had an intelligent, if somewhat old-fashioned Freudian, interpretation to offer, plus some very scary marionettish Dutch sailors singing and dancing like demented automatons at the end.

The Adelaide production tried to create interesting atmospheric effects with blue & green lasers for the sea and a red one for the Dutchman, although I'm sure that the red laser failed at the moment of the Dutchman's final entrance in the Saturday night finale. However, when the lasers weren't being used, the very bare stage for the rest of the time was anti-climactic. I should mention the treasure-chest that rose from under the stage radiating golden light when the Dutchman tempted Daland with an offer he couldn't refuse - and then got the extra offer of his daughter's hand as well as a place to stay! Very effective.

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A Revolutionary Ring in Los Angeles - Graham Bruce

At the suggestion of fellow LA Ring attendees Katie and Vic French (NSW Society members), Queensland Society member Graham Bruce kindly forwarded for publication in our Newsletter the review he wrote for the Queensland Newsletter. (Vic and Katie thought Graham was being rather too generous about the production, but did agree that it was a completely different approach to the Ring. By comparison, Katie and Vic also saw the San Francisco Opera's production of Die Walkure with Nina Stemme and Mark Delavan being the stand-out singers, prompting Vic and Katie to book already for the full cycle between 14 June and 3 July 2011.) Editor.

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A Recital to Remember - Young Artists of the Sydney Chamber Opera

Society member, Louis Garrick, organised a top-rate recital for members on 19 September. Anna Yun and Mitchell Riley, ravishingly accompanied by Jack Symonds presented an intelligent and beautifully performed program. Mitchell Riley spectacularly opened with excerpts from Schumann's Dichterliebe. Anna Yun followed with a surperb rendition of the rarely performed Gedichte der Konigin Maria Stuart by Robert Schuman. Mitchell then provided us with excerpts from Die schone Mullerin and concluded with a moving excerpt from St Matthew's Passion by J S Bach. The recital was a triumph of design, interpretation and performance. What a treat!

Image: From left Louis Garrick, Mitchell Riley, Jack Symonds and Anna Yun.

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Tannhauser Und Der Sangerkrieg Auf Wartburg

- Richard Mason

Vienna Staatsoper - 16th June 2010 [opening night of a new production]

Johan Botha [Tannhauser], Anja Kampe [Elisabeth], Michaela Schuster [Venus], Christian Gerhaher [Wolfram], Ain Anger [Landgraf], Gergely Nà ©meti [Walther], Alexandru Moisiuc [Biterolf], Marcus Pelz [Reinmar], Alois Muhlbacher [Shepherd]; Production: Claus Guth ,Christian Schmidt; Lighting: Olaf Freese; Movement: Konrad Kuhn; Conducted by Franz Welser-Most.

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Katherina Wagner's Die Meistersinger - The Final Wrap!

Two wraps by Robert Lloyd and Terence Watson.

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