CDs / DVDs, 03. June 2011
A highly imaginative rethink of a difficult early Wagner opera, which boasts a superb orchestral account of the score from Hartmut Haenchen.
Der fliegende Holländer is curiously imbalanced between his newer style and more conventional Italian opera practices. Martin Kušej sets it in a modern world of cruises and ferries, the Dutchman's crew shadowy asylum seekers, long time 'refugees on the seas of conflict and revolution' [Opera Journal].
It is a stupendous performance, slow maybe to adjust and get into, but compulsive viewing once you've got used to its premises. It is given in a continuous one-act version, and for the interludes between the scenes we are with the orchestra - as used to be the way in the opera house.
Terrific, persuasive singing.

Definitely one for Wagner collectors to not pass by.
Peter Grahame Woolf