Reviews: 'Der Fliegende Holländer', Melbourne Opera, 3, 5 & 7 February 2019

Flying Dutchman


Members who attended the performances enthused about the excellent singing and atmospheric staging.

Here are some excerpts from reviews by the music critics:

Maestro Anthony Negus, a noted international Wagner expert, leads the expanded Melbourne Opera Orchestra in a very fine performance. The music is clearly very well-rehearsed, and the stormy atmosphere is conjured with great flair. Melbourne’s favourite soprano Lee Abrahmsen outdoes herself yet again in the leading role of Senta. Looking every bit the angelic daughter, Abrahmsen sings with delicious abandon, soaring into lush, full bodied high notes with unbridled confidence. It is a delightful performance, and one that is all the stronger by Abrahmsen’s nuanced acting, in which Senta’s inner journey is made clear and engaging. https://simonparrismaninchair.com/2019/02/04/melbourne-opera-the-flying…

Melbourne is indeed blessed to have MO as part of the city’s artistic landscape. Bringing a work such as The Flying Dutchman to the stage with purely private funds is no mean feat. Furthermore, here is a production blessed with excellent singing from a solid cast, supported by a production that allows people into the story – in other words, an experience that comes close to the “total art work” Wagner envisaged. https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/the-flying-dutchman-melbou…

Wagner, of course, is famous for vocal writing that pushes performers to the very edge – an athletic level of ability has to be developed, and then pressed into the service of artistry. It is easy to see why many singers need to spend half their lives in preparation for these roles. Darren Jeffrey as Der Hollander has all that is needed for this – the power, the range, the clarity and stage presence. He delivered this vocally and dramatically demanding role while giving the impression of relative ease – a performance in that sweet spot where a shine comes from a performer being working with writing that challenges the technique just so. https://www.classicmelbourne.com.au/melbourne-opera-the-flying-dutchman/

It’s hard to believe no one has convinced Rosario La Spina to sing Wagner before now. As Erik, his tenor pours out like a marvellous melting pot of Verdi, Bellini and Wagner. It’s extremely enjoyable to listen to. Sung in its original German with three stellar principals, and with a Wagner aficionado like Maestro Negus at the helm, and effective production values, Dutchman is a significant artistic step forward for Melbourne Opera. https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/opera/melbourne-opera-soars-with-f…