Wagner's The Flying Dutchman from Bayreuth

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This week, we take you to Bayreuth, the theater which Richard Wagner designed, to hear his storm-tossed opera The Flying Dutchman. This work opened the annual Wagner festival in July, and made news headlines around the world.

On the podium is Christian Thielemann, who is widely known as a Wagner conductor. In an interview before this performance, Thielemann said, "The Flying Dutchman is the hardest piece I've ever done here," noting that the work was not written for performing in Bayreuth's orchestra pit. This performance was also notable because its star baritone, Evgeny Nikitin, suddenly pulled out when tattoos from his former career as a heavy-metal singer became an issue and made the news.

Now, Samuel Youn stars as the title role, the Dutchman roams the seas, halting every seven years to seek redemption through true love Senta, played by Adrianne Pieczonka. Franz-Josef Selig is her father Daland, Benjamin Bruns is helmsman and Michael König plays Erik.

Note: this replaces the previously scheduled airing of Britten's Rape of Lucretia.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Comments [7]

The Sailors Chorus was played as slowly as a Funeral March. It was anything but lusty.

Nov. 23 2012 06:31 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

It's now past 3 AM and this is my first time today since hearing the broadcast on WQXR that I have had a break in my composing my third opera "The Practical Shakespeare." Robustly conducted by maestro Christian Thielemann the orchestra and the chorus performed, inspired, delivering a stupendous, epic Flying Dutchman.

Nov. 18 2012 03:15 AM
Philip Elliott from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I heard this LIVE from one of the German stations and found this to be one of the best productions I've heard in years. It was originally done WITHOUT intermission and felt that Adrianne Pieczonka was a fantastic Senta AND from Canada. Oh yes and Christian Thielemannn is no slouch of a Wagnerian conductor

Nov. 17 2012 01:26 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

It has been my fortuitous experiences being in the right place at the right time, that i did attend the Met premiere of Rysanek as Senta with the marvelous George London as the Dutchman. Both were spectacularly good. Rysanek's pp and her total involvement 9n the role, her beautiful physique and seamless vocal production received tumultuous applause. I am a Wagnerian romantischer heldentenor and studied voice at the Manhattan School of Music with the greatest Dutchman, Friedrich Schorr. After Juilliard, where I studied with Met Opera singers Mack Harrell and Martial Singher, I learned of Schorr's teaching at MSM and studied there with him my Wagner, Verdi and Meyerbeer dramatic tenor roles until his death. I was his last student. Vilma Georgiu and Ezio Flagello were studying with him at the time. His Hans Sachs and Wotan roles are considered definitive. My other voice teachers who were also Met Opera legends were Frieda Hempel, Alexander Kipnis, Margarete Matzenauer, Karin Branzell and John Brownlee. Nowadays besides my singing performances, i coach actors in all the Shakespeare roles and robust singers in all the Wagner roles at the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I am the director. My two operas, "Shakespeare" and ":The Political Shakespeare" are both single protagonist, the Bard himself relating the circumstances of his life and the personalities of the male title roles of his plays, with arias for each.

Nov. 17 2012 01:26 PM

Thank you. I am very happy that there are still some of us around who remember Rysanek & London. I again emphsize this is not a knock on any other singers, past or present - only my opinion.

Nov. 17 2012 12:54 PM
Ellen from West Chester, PA

I have to agree with Cavanaugh, having seen Dutchman at the old Met several times with various casts, the ones I remember vividly to this day are the ones with George London and Leonie Rysanek. I wore out my vinyl lp's and then got the cd transfer. They were simply amazing.

Nov. 17 2012 09:10 AM

With no offense to any singers, the ONLY Dutchman/Senta combo was London & Rysanek. She even remarked once "we sold out every perfomance at Bayreuth & the Met when we (London & herself) sang Dutchman. I agree 100%. Again with no offense to any other singers & I have a live recording of Nilsson singing the complete Senta from Philly.

Nov. 16 2012 08:30 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.