Wagner's The Flying Dutchman

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Icelandic baritone Tomas Tomasson stars as the title role in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman presented by Los Angeles Opera. Tomasson’s character faces a curse that can only be broken by the beautiful Senta, played by Portuguese soprano Elisabete Matos.  

American bass James Creswell sings the role of Daland, Senta’s father. Tenor Corex Bix also stars as Senta’s former lover, completing the love triangle as the opera unfolds. James Conlon conducts the production.



The Dutchman  Tomas Tomasson

Senta  Elisabete Matos

Erik  Corey Bix

Daland  James Creswell

Steersman  Matthew Pienk

Mary  Ronnita Nicole Miller


CONDUCTOR:                    James Conlon

STAGE DIRECTOR:            Nikolaus Lehnhoff



Comments [8]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

For sheer beauty of voice and enunciation with nuance and the appropriate dramatic urgency the winner is clearly Portuguese soprano Elisabete Matos with a timbre deliciously rich. She projects her voice admirably. The comprimario role of the Steersman was sung by Matthew Plenk with a handsome timbre and free flowing bel canto vocal line. Maestro James Conlon since his young tyro days debuting with the New York Philharmonic in 1976 has conducted a wide rep with skill and youthful vigor and enthusiasm. Kudos to all concerned. The recorded performance from the broadcast of the L A Opera over WQXR ended at 3:24 PM today.

Jul. 27 2013 04:17 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

FRANZ LISZT who had been a friend of Wagner for many years and had transcribed many of Wagner's choicest selections maintaining their essence and allowing for virtuoso display with elan, also prepared LOHENGRIN's world premiere when Wagner was for political reasons unable to participate. COSIMA, Liszt's illigitimate daughter became Wagner's second wife and was intimately involved in all matters that touched on Wagner's aspirations and enterprises. Just as BACH's music is performed by all sorts of instrumental ensembles , even the MOOG, so Wagner's music may be thoroughly enjoyed in piano arrangements, but their original versions with singers are the definitive versions. The incandescent beauty and intoxicating spirituality are so transformational in Wagner's oeuvre that any religious belief may be accommodated and synthesized to replicate the sense of selfless empathy for the welfare of others that the sacrificed UNICO represents to us all. That may explain why so many famous JEWISH singers GEORGE LONDON, RICHARD TAUBER, HERMANN JADLOWKER, MELANIE KURT, FRIEDRICH SCHORR, ALEXANDER KIPNIS, EMANUEL LIST, JONAS KAUFMANN, OTTILIE METZGER, LILLI LEHMANN, HERMANN WEIL, DESZO ERNSTER, HERTA GLAZ, MARGARETE MATZENAUER, SOPHIE BRASLAU, WALTER OLITZKY, GERHARD PECHNER, ESTELLE LIEBLING, MONA PAULEE, GUNTHER TREPTOW, PAULA LENCHNER, ALMA GLUCK, ADOLF ROBINSON, IRENE JESSNER, MAX BLOCH, ERNESTINE SCHUMANN-HEINK, HERMANN SCHRAMM, SIEGFRIED JERUSALEM, PAUL KALISCH, ETC], conductors LEONARD BERNSTEIN, JAMES LEVINE, BRUNO WALTER, ALFRED HERTZ, DANIEL BARENBOIM, GEORG SOLTI, WALTER AND LEOPOLD DAMROSCH, ARTUR RODZINSKY, RICHARD FRANK GOLDMAN AND HIS FATHER THE FOUNDER OF THE GOLDMAN BAND THAT PERFORMED BRASS INSTRUMENT VERSIONS OF THE WAGNER "REP," FRITZ REINER, SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, FABIEN SEVITSKY, ERICH LEINSDORF, and HERMANN LEVI, the conductor whom Wagner himself appointed to premiere PARSIFAL at Bayreuth, Levi's father being a rabbi, and Levi reportedly denied Wagner's request for him to turn Christian, still Wagner decided LEVI was the best one to cinduct his work, ETC. and stage directors HERBERT GRAF AND LEOPOLD SACHSE dedicated the fullest portion of their careers to performing Wagner's music dramas.

Jul. 27 2013 03:12 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boontin, NJ

The troubles that tear asunder the prospect of REAL "echt" WAGNERIAN PERFORMANCES are primarily based on the total lack of singers with squillo, ping, ringing "juicy', not dry secco , delivery, WAGNERIAN BARKING rather than legato full-throated singing, strained, forced and flat singing, unsupported, undersized and underpowered singing, WITHOUT impressive carrying power and with throaty or nasal ugly voice production. Today's news deals with deficits and declining support for the arts. Tandem to this predicament for the talented is the perception that the current situation will continue for a long time to come. Speaking specifically how this precludes the motivation for young operatic singers who must early on choosing their life's work, many have turned to Broadway or the business world. Nowadays Broadway musicals are out for show-stopping sensationalism with laser distractions, monster sets, acrobatic feats and space age technical projections and featuring dancing over singing. So, for the real thing opera singer, Broadway musicals, outside of Phantom of the Opera and an occasional Les Miserables there is little prospect of a sustainable career . The Wagner oeuvre has suffered the most. Husky physiques, witness the iconic John McCormack, do not offer similar size singing voices in power or stamina. Heroic voices like Melchior, Tamagno, Ruffo and the mature Caruso are nowhere on today's world class stages. Instead we suffer to hear miniscule, non-charismatic, non-distinctively memor able singing voices essaying roles far beyond their underpowered, thin not orotund, singing potentialities. Why has the always controversial political or uniqueness for uniqueness's sake been the overriding context in which the Bayreuth Festival has ALWAYS manifested its presence back to the days when Hanslick then Tschaikovsky and later Verdi found it an unfriendly atmosphere or decried its "lack of melody (sic !)?" The daughters of Wolfgang Wagner like their dad have managed to incur the wrath of others either more conservative or radical in their concepts of the evolving Wagner music drama production values/concepts. It is an eviscerating condition that feeds upon confrontation rather than productive aesthetics. Kudos to the daughters of Wolfgang who I anticipate will bring on a still more evocative and compelling aspect of the panoramic, dynamic searching persona of the composer that most appropriately can don the mantel of SHAKESPEARE by nature of his genius and wide-ranging interests and perceptions.

Jul. 27 2013 02:47 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

KUDOS to you WQXR for your pursuit of clarifying and seeking greater awareness of Wagner's music dramas.
All composers of opera realize the importance of having singers that can represent rheir music properly.
Here a few suggestions of truly representative GREAT, LEGENDARY singers. RICHARD WAGNER's innovations go beyond the use of his introductionj into the opera orchestra of brass, for instance, the Wagner tuba, and woodwind instruments invented for the their immediate use in his galactic projects. Wagner's chromatisim in TRISTAN to enhance the sensual, his use of swiftly changing meters, tempi, and extended or shortened phrase lengths to comport with the ever changing landscape and his mentally conceived synonymous sketching of leit motives, short leading melodies to indicate emotions, persons, things or concepts was extensively utilized throughout his oeuvre. Toscaninni's DIE MEISTERSINGER performance at the Slazburg Festival of 1937 on the Andante CD label, George Szell's Met Opera TANNHAUSER of December 19, 1942 with Melchior, Traubel and Kipnis on THE RADIO YEARS CD label, Artur Bodansky's Met Opera TRISTAN of January 2, 1937 with Melchior, Flagstad and Huehn on THE FORTIES CD label, Fritz Busch's Met Opera LOHENGRIN of January 25th, 1947 with Melchior and Melchior and Traubel on the Walhall CD label, Melchior's final Met Opera broadcast LOHENGRIN, conducted by Fritz Stiedry with Traubel and Varnay on January 7th, 1950 on the Danacord CD label and Etich Leinsdorf Met Opera TRISTAN of 1941 with Melchior, Flagstad and Kipnis on the Melodram CD label are some of the best commercially obtainable examples of Wagnerian singing at its best. Melchior's complete performance in studio recordings of Siegmund and Siegfried are on the DANACORD CD label anfd his Gotterdammerung Siegfried recorded at a Met Opera performance is available on a Walhall label CD set. For a living, performing currently, heldentenor may I be so bold as to offer my singing, recorded live, of Otello, Tristan, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung Siegfried, Walther von stolzing, Siegmund and Parsifal downloadable, free, from my website www.WagnerOpera.com, by going to the Recorded Selections venue.

Jul. 27 2013 02:35 PM
Mike from New York

You have the wrong cast info, and also a typo in one of the names.

Jul. 27 2013 02:29 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman was a film years ago with the gorgeous Ava Gardner and James Mason. I believe cinematography was by Jack Cardiff
Black Narcissus, The Vikings). What was missing was the music of the overture. When my son was in the navy, the captain asked for suggestions for sailing music. My son suggested this overture. You betcha they used it. Hope today's cast does this opera justice.

Jul. 27 2013 09:49 AM
Suzanne from New York

Is that a typo in the name of the tenor performing the Steersman? There is an American tenor by the name of Matthew Plenk (with an "l").
Just curious. Thanks

Jul. 27 2013 09:22 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Der fliegender Hollander, following after Rienzi, signed off for WAGNER as a new major opera composer.
One of my voice teachers in college was Friedrich Schorr who made the Dutchman role along with his Hans Sachs and Wotans signature roles role-modelled for Wagnerian baritones just as tenors viewed Caruso as their always unobtainable goal post. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where all the Wagner and Shakespeare roles are coached. www.WagnerOpera.com

Jul. 27 2013 12:42 AM

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