Reviews – The Flying Dutchman 2016

The Flying Dutchman was a huge success among the country’s leading opera critics. “A brilliant production that highlights the essence of The Flying Dutchman.” These were the words of Swedish national daily Dagens Nyheter’s critic Nicholas Ringskog Ferrada Noli after the premiere. His words were echoed by the other critics, who unanimously acclaimed the production and performers.

ops_gruppbild_dfh_2Dagens Nyheter’s reviewer also wrote that “the stage design, choreography and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra (Svenska Kammarorkestern), under the direction of Michael Balke, impressed” and that the Opera på Skäret production “… demonstrates why the opera was an immediate success when it premiered in 1843: behind all the myths … tempestuous romanticist Richard Wagner had immense psychological sensitivity.”

Karin Helander, critic for the other Swedish national daily, Svenska Dagbladet, described the performance as “yet another victory on points” for Opera på Skäret, which over “more than a decade, has established a reliable operatic stage at Lake Ljusnaren in the community of Kopparberg.”

Lars Sjöberg, from evening tabloid Expressen, wrote of “Opera på Skäret’s beautiful, salty and well-crafted Dutchman” saying, with Sjöberg’s words, that the opera house, “the huge barn with its leaky walls feels as though it was made for Wagner, as perfect as Bayreuth itself. Not a word, not a note is lost.”

Swedish Television’s Camilla Lundberg also noted in her review for Kulturnyheterna (Cultural News) that “this place is made for Wagner,” and that “with handsome maritime projections, a great choir and an authentic German conductor, you can go a long way.”

In her review for local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, Anna Lundström wrote: “On the whole, this felt like a very secure and promising premiere,” concluding: “Don’t miss this musical adventure this summer!”

The Swedish Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Balke, also impressed the critics: “The Swedish Chamber Orchestra is the structural foundation … the playing is splendid and conductor Michael Balke … has a firm grasp of the combined performance” (NA). “Michael Balke leads the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in Wagner’s roaring maritime shading and chromatic gusts” (Svenska Dagbladet).

The two teams of performers were praised for their efforts, as was nicely summarized in local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda’s review: “These amazing soloists all carry above the sound of the orchestra.”

ops_dfh_publisucceMost of the critics attended the first premiere and particularly highlighted Norwegian soprano Elisabeth Teige in the role of Senta: “Sensational” (SVT), “incredible, sings absolutely amazingly” (Dagens Nyheter), “ecstatically splendid soprano (Svenska Dagbladet), “radiant in her intensity” (Expressen) and “an incredible voice “ (Nerikes Allehanda), were some of the opinions expressed. Her counterpart in the second team of performers, Danish Brit-Tone Müllertz, was also praised by the critic who attended the second premiere, Anne Petterson of the local newspaper Dala‑Demokraten: “Brit-Tone Müllertz … has a compact voice that bears out amazingly well at the higher end of the range.”

In the role of the Dutchman, Thomas Hall and Lars Möller were praised for their vocal contributions. Lars Möller “sang with feeling, especially in the more dramatic passages (Dala-Demokraten). Thomas Hall “does a great job” (Dagens Nyheter), “sings with darkness, gloomy fiendishness and disturbed frustration” (Svenska Dagbladet) and “… impresses … both ghoulish and human” (Nerikes Allehanda)

Magnus Vigilius (Erik) “makes a strong impression” (Dagens Nyheter), Jens-Erik Aasbö “brings out the comical side of the role” (Svenska Dagbladet), making “a Daland who virtually flirts with the audience” (Nerikes Allehanda). Markus Pettersson (the steersman) “has potential in his warm tenor” (Dala-Demokraten) and Roger Krebs (Daland) “sang with conviction” (Dala-Demokraten) are some of the opinions expressed regarding the soloists.