'Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer'
(Bryn Terfel, Liliana Nikiteanu, Matti Salminen, Marco Jentzsch, Fabio Trümpy, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / Deutsche Grammophon)
Overview: DG is proud to present an exciting and exceptional new opera production on DVD and BluRay: Bryn Terfel stars in Richard Wagners 'Der fliegende Holländer' (The Flying Dutchman).
DVD Verdict: 'Der fliegende Holländer' (The Flying Dutchman; and no, for all you fans of the EPL, this is no relation to Robin van Persie!), is a German-language opera, with libretto and music by Richard Wagner.
Wagner claimed in his 1870 autobiography Mein Leben that he had been inspired to write the opera following a stormy sea crossing he made from Riga to London in July and August 1839. In his 1843 Autobiographic Sketch, Wagner acknowledged he had taken the story from Heinrich Heine's retelling of the legend in his 1833 satirical novel The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski (Aus den Memoiren des Herrn von Schnabelewopski).
The central theme within 'Der Fliegende Holländer' is redemption through love, and this is the first time in the 25 years of Bryn's work as an opera singer that he has recorded this milestone in Wagner's work.
Funnily enough, Wagner originally wrote the work to be performed without intermission – an example of his efforts to break with tradition – and, while today's opera houses sometimes still follow this directive, it is also performed in a three-act version. No such luck either re: a lack of intermission here either, as this exceptional recording - made at the Zurich opera house in January 2013 - uses said breaks as fueling time for their on stage actors just perfectly.
Indeed, and with that noted, Bryn is surrounded by a stellar cast and crew: the head of the Zurich opera Andreas Homoki staged the production, renowned French conductor Alain Altinoglu takes the musical lead, and Matti Salminen a living legend on the world s opera stages personifies Daland, with Anja Kampe as Senta.
From the opening moments of Act 1, where on his homeward journey, the sea captain Daland is compelled by stormy weather to seek a port of refuge near Sandwike, Norway; thru Act 2, where a group of local girls are singing and spinning in Daland's house and Senta, Daland's daughter, dreamily gazes upon a gorgeous picture of the legendary Dutchman that hangs from the wall; onto Act 3, where [SPOILER ALERT!] the Dutchman sets sail, and Senta throws herself into the sea, claiming that she will be faithful to him unto death, Bryn Terfel's rendition of 'Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer' is truly one for the ages. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.