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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stirring film of the sea
You can taste the salt spray and feel the waves heave beneath your feet. You can almost see Captain Jack Sparrow mincing saucily on the fo'c'sle deck. This brilliantly evocative 1975 film of Wagner's tale of the Flying Dutchman, replete with mighty square-rigged ships, storm-tossed waves, pea soup fog, ghosts of dead sailors who are reanimated and the grisly green corpses...
Published on May 22, 2008 by Michael Birman

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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To love and to hate!
First: 8(sic) EIGHT CUTS IN THE SCORE!

1)The steersman song's 1st strophe - consequence: the delicate balance of a strict strophe (1st) and the 2nd "corrupted" strophe (by insertions of one the "tempest" motives) is broken!

2)The usual (but not more tolerable for that) in the final part of the last Daland/Dutchman duet.

3)The also usual...
Published on May 29, 2008 by Andre Felipe A. Vital


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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stirring film of the sea, May 22, 2008
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
You can taste the salt spray and feel the waves heave beneath your feet. You can almost see Captain Jack Sparrow mincing saucily on the fo'c'sle deck. This brilliantly evocative 1975 film of Wagner's tale of the Flying Dutchman, replete with mighty square-rigged ships, storm-tossed waves, pea soup fog, ghosts of dead sailors who are reanimated and the grisly green corpses of dead sailors who are not, breathes life into Wagner's early score, making for a splendidly atmospheric musical experience. Filmed in the studio, with the singers lip-synching the score, it is blessed with wonderful period sets and costumes, its 19th Century hyperreality heightened by mighty ocean waves and their tempest-swept ships, an effect filmed in two huge water tanks. Der Fliegende Hollander lightens our burdens aboard ship as if it were a two hour long sea shanty. Wagner lends himself to full-scale film presentation (as opposed to filmed stagings). His Ring Cycle seems to be especially ideal for some future CGI film extravaganza.

Directed with visionary zeal by the Czech opera director Vaclav Kaslik, a veteran of 150 opera productions in the theatre, usually working with the great Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda, he exhuberantly tackles any of Wagner's stage directions or text that call for a special effect. Distinctive examples of visual intensity are the phantom ship with its red sails approaching the shore at speed and anchoring and the ghost crew arising from the dead in response to the taunts of the Norwegian sailors at the end of Act III. The conductor of the splendid Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Chor is Wolfgang Sawallisch, a Hollander specialist since his first performances of the work in Augsburg in the 1940s. He utilizes as his musical text Wagner's earlier thoughts on the score as it was originally performed for its premiere in Dresden, which Sawallisch has come to prefer over the years as being more effective. This version includes the so-called 'blunt' ending to the Overture and the performance of Act III without the harp-dominated Tristan-influenced redemption music, as well as louder and wilder brass commentaries throughout the entire opera. It makes for a much more visceral experience, a gutsier opera that seems to scrape against the nerves as one listens, causing one to sit-up and take notice as the supernatural tale unfolds.

Donald McIntyre is a charismatic Hollander, dressed in black leather and tall boots. He sings the part well. Senta is played by Catarina Ligendza, who appears troubled and confused, not quite grasping the attraction she feels for this strange man. Her voice is good, although it wobbles ocassionally. Daland is the very fine Bengt Rundgren. Erik is Hermann Winkler. The cast is quite good, which is especially important because so much of this film depends upon their acting as well as their vocal work. The superb orchestra is always right there to comment on the action, bringing dramatic unity to the performance. The result is an effective whole that is often quite riveting in its totality.

The digitally remastered film is crystal clear, as is the sound in PCM stereo and DTS 5.1. The disc lasts 117 minutes and is coded 0 worldwide. The usual DGG menus, catalogs and translations are here, along with a booklet.

This beautifully filmed, visually evocative performance is an especially atmospheric Fliegende Hollander. Strongly recommended.

Mike Birman
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Production, May 23, 2008
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
It's much better than I was expecting. Very dark, very atmospheric, actually some parts reminded me of carpenter's "the fog". McIntyre is very good as the doomed captain and Ligendza with her cold beauty is a marvelous Senta. The acting is of a very high quality and visually the production is certainly inspired. I find this as a great alternative to Kupfer's Bayreuth production which was also very imaginative and powerful.
But actually I am very happy to possess a strongly faithful adaptation of this magnificent opera, made by a director who certainly knows how to build the harmony between visuals and the music.
The audio recording is also first rate. Sawallisch is a great wagner conductor as usual, Ligendza with her huge voice delivers thrilling results especially in the famous ballad. McIntyre is an intelligent singer who manages to perform Hollander's menacing and terrifying aspects but also his melancholy and tragic fate. The orchestra is not bayreuth but still provides grandiose moments under Sawallisch's command. The chorus and the rest of the cast are also excellent.
Dts sound is brilliant providing a very organic sound experience. English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese subtitles are also included. Highly recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, June 16, 2008
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
This is my second Flying Dutchman I've seen on DVD (the first being one from the Savolinna Opera Festival with Behrens and Backman), and I much prefer this one, for a few reasons, not the least of which is the *realism*. The Dutchman and Daland are saling on actual ships through actual water; there's as much emphasis on acting as singing, and there are some truly thrilling dramatic orchestral moments.

Vocally, Catarina Ligendza (Senta) and Donald McIntyre (The Dutchman) do wonderfully well, and the rest of the cast is also good to great--no one here is graded a C or lower. In response to the review that complains of the "cuts" in the opera, Sawallisch *deliberately* performed the 1843 version because it was, to him, more convincing and dramatic--and I'm inclined to agree. This is the DVD Der Fliegende Hollander of choice, since it is dramatically, musically, and visually exciting.

Very highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, at last, August 4, 2008
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
Finally, at last a video of The Flying Dutchman that satisfies! Perhaps this is a difficult opera to stage, and a film is needed. This one is excellent. The violence of stormy seas, the singing of the long-dead sailors in the last act, the hopelessness of Erik's situation, the tentativeness on both sides at the lovers' first encounter--all come through gloriously. It is a thrill to see Donald McIntyre in this. I will watch this video many times.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars To love and to hate!, May 29, 2008
This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
First: 8(sic) EIGHT CUTS IN THE SCORE!

1)The steersman song's 1st strophe - consequence: the delicate balance of a strict strophe (1st) and the 2nd "corrupted" strophe (by insertions of one the "tempest" motives) is broken!

2)The usual (but not more tolerable for that) in the final part of the last Daland/Dutchman duet.

3)The also usual (and also intolerable!) on the 2nd of the 3 spinning song's strophes.

4)The 1st of Erik's aria 2 strophes (revolting!)

5)At the Dutchman/Daland/Senta trio "stretta".

6)At the 1st phrase Dutchman's Crew song!

7)The most stupefying one: the 2(sic), two bars that separate Erik's aria and the Dutchman's entrance ("Verloren, ach verloren" etc.)[note-this is actually a Wagner option for the very 1st version (http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-fliegende-Holländer-Paris-version/dp/B0006PV5SA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1220440752&sr=8-3) which has NO PLACE HERE!].

(Please Amazon! The Weil recording isn't the """Paris Version""" at all!!)

8) And the also also usual (and also...intolerable) right in the middle of Senta/Erik/Dutchman trio.

If one doubt that things really grow old, this movie gives ample evidence of the contrary; gritted teeth for despair, half-open mouth for sadness, confusion, despair. The major reason for this editing is that, back in 1975, opera people thought that Wagner operas form his first compositional period should be "corrected" (a kind of "wielandities")...this is a complete nonsense, because Wagner knew exactly how and what music he wanted to write in this period (the changes from the very first version [link above], the 1843 one and its ""Tristan-like-ending"" later version show preciselly the necessary alterations).

The press-release claims that this is the 2nd(1843) version, but it isn't, because the descending instrumental line just before the Dutchman's phrase ("...Erfahre das Geschick...") is played only by the strings, not by the brass section...on the other hand, senta sings the ballade a whole tone higher (A minor), a choice in the 2nd version, and the soprano's line just before the ballade, when she addresses the chorus, is also from the 1843 version.

This, Sawallisch 2nd recording is a "via-media" between his savage Bayreuth version and his late, sleepy one (on Laserdisc, no longer available). The conductor's unique use of rubato in Wagner, his intelligent view that this is a work from the beginning/middle of the 19th century (the conversational passages are really classical im articulation and tempi), his structural and textural clarity are the main assets here; the sound picture is warm (a little agressive sometimes, probably due to the limitations of the DVD medium, as far as the sound is concerned), with a acceptable "holographic" image, that just recedes at the loudest moments (the clash between the nowegians and the ghost crew). Transitions are expertly done, although the above-mentioned sleepyness raises its head already at some points. The conductoris at his weakest by the final trio and the Dutchman statement, when things are rushed and McIntyre, consequently, sounds a little puny.
This singer was at his height by then, with a true homogeneity of timbre, easyness in the whole tessitura, and a real understanding of the character's more fragile side (his "...weit komm'ich her, verwehrt bei Sturm und Wetter..." sounds almost with no vibrato, like a child), not flinching at any part of his monologue's, no matter how difficult it may be. His combination of text and articulation is also a paragon for the role, although he has some problems with "Umlaut" vowels.

Ligendza is second only to Varnay in the soprano part, for she not only sings it at its original pitch (as mentioned above), but hits all the notes dead-center, specially at the high B's ("...treu dir, bis zum Tod!"). His acting is a little stiff, but she isn't alone...

Winkler and Rundgren are what they are: top 2nd clas singers, Ek is a wide-eyed Steersman, chorus and Orch on "B" form.

How old the movie is? Well, suffice to day that the scene between the dutch and norwegian crew are a good teaser of what might be the "Night of the living dead; the musical", and the actual Senta's jump was like the one who is going very carefully inside a very cold bath, and, since this s "original" Staged performance, why the Dutchman and Senta sink into a seemingly bubbling hot sea? Still, for the lack of better...
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful "movie" with bad lip sync, February 1, 2012
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
This is not a typical opera performed on stage, but a "movie" where actors pretend singing on a lot more realistic settings, with real water, miniature ship, and so on.

In the beginning, I thought it was a good idea.... but as soon as singing started, oh man....

The singers hardly move their lips! So fake! and the songs are cut to make this DVD to fit in a single disc!

I cannot believe anyone recommends this production!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Visual Version of thie Opera., August 4, 2012
By 
Judith A. Weller "jw1917" (LaVale, MD United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
This is undoubtedly the best version of the opera to SEE. I have other versions I prefer to hear. But visually this is a great video and captures the essence of Wagner's work. If you want to SEE the Flying Dutchman this is the only version to get. If you want to HEAR a great version of this opera then get the Met Opera version with James Morris in the title role. Maybe I am partial to that version as I saw it live and James Morris is my all time favorite Wagnerian bass-Baritone. But I am reviewing this video.

I like this video for the atmospheric presentation which brings the opera alive the way a stage presentation cannot.

What I didn't like was the 1834 version of the opera which basically omits, among other things, the transcendant ending and the glorious redemption music as the souls of Senta and the Dutchman ascend from a dark, and stormy sea into a golden glow of eternity. The Dutchman was one of the first operas I ever saw and it was at the "old" Met. I still remember that glorious remdemption music and the golden sky with the sun rising out of the sea. So I really wanted that ending in this movie. I think the 1934 version has become more popular these days.

I am still giving this 5 stars as I think it is a great visual realization of an opera which is really hard to stage even with all the modern tools of stages today. Because of the staging demands, it lends itself to a film.

The singers are very good, but not great. I am not partial to Donald McIntyre in Wagnerian roles, although many like him. His voice is much lighter than I like. I prefer Morris or Franz Grundheber in the role. The best Senta on CD is still Leonie Rysanek, actually one of the best Senta's ever.

But although this does not represent my ideal cast or conductor, they are still very good and the visuals alone make it a great introduction to the opera and worth 5 stars. Too many operas on CD are Eurotrash, updated stagings which cater to the ego of the director rather than the vision of the composer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific 'Flying Dutchman', June 15, 2008
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
This is a wondefully entertaining filmed version of Wagner's opera. Many little cinematic touches abound, such as the ghastly representation of the Dutchman's crew as they try to join in the general dancing and celebration, and the ships themselves. Donald McIntyre is a brooding, powerful Dutchman, and he is supported by excellent vocal work from Catarina Ligendza (whom I've encountered before) and Bengt Rundgren (whom I haven't). Wolfgang Sawallisch conducts the opera in a brisk and energetic manner. Very enjoyable and highly recommended!
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dedicated To New York's Bravest And Finest, 9/11/08, September 11, 2008
By 
NYYanksFan (Long Island, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
This is a wonderful DVD, one which has already been reviewed (and superbly so) by Mike Birman. This review is of another performance of "The Flying Dutchman", one which I remembered and thought about this morning while walking to work in lower Manhattan.

New York City Opera's fall season in 2001 was scheduled to open with a new production of "The Flying Dutchman", a rare excursion into Wagnerian repertory for that company. The premiere (as well as the entire opening week) was cancelled, due, of course, to the horrifying events of September 11th; that cancelled performance was rescheduled in late October as a 9/11 benefit. The opening ceremony that evening was very moving, with the entire cast (in full makeup) and backstage crew gathered on stage, underneath a large American flag which hung overhead. After a speech or two, it was announced that the flag hanging above the stage had covered the coffin of a member of the opera company's crew, who died on 9/11 while performing his duties as a member of the New York City Fire Department. The deceased firefighter's son, who also worked backstage at City Opera, was present onstage. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye in the house.

And then the opera began. For those not familiar with the "legend" of the Flying Dutchman, here is the Cliff Notes version: centuries ago, the Dutchman, a sea captain, while rounding southern Africa during a great storm, cried out that his ship would continue sailing, Satan be damned. Well, Satan heard him, and punished the Dutchman, his ship and crew, consigning them all to sail the seven seas for eternity, with no hope for salvation. In Wagner's version, an angel of mercy intervenes and tempers the sentence somewhat, giving the Dutchman a chance at salvation and redemption: every seven years, the Dutchman is permitted to bring his ship ashore. During his time on land, if the Dutchman can find a woman who will be faithful to him until death, his soul will be saved. Along comes Senta, who has been obsessed with the legend of the Flying Dutchman all her life; she meets and falls in love with him when he mysteriously appears, forgetting, for the moment, she is already engaged to someone else. The Dutchman becomes enraged upon learning of Senta's previous engagement, and sails off, disconsolate, for another seven years of torment. Senta, watching the ship sail away from a nearby clifftop, cries out to the Dutchman that she will remain faithful to him for all eternity, and leaps to her death into the sea. The Dutchman's ship sinks in the distance, and the curse has been broken: the Dutchman, due to Senta's devotion, sacrifice and selflessness, has finally found salvation.

While this very well mounted performance of an opera I have long loved played out before me, I began to think about how appropriate Wagner's redemptive storyline was for the occasion at hand: we were assembled that evening to honor and pay tribute to 400+ men and women, heroes all, who selflessly climbed the stairs of the Twin Towers that terrible day, all in an effort to protect and save their fellow New Yorkers. Before dying in the line of duty, these brave members of New York City's Fire Department and Police Department helped save the lives of thousands of New Yorkers on the morning of 9/11. It's very hard to believe that seven years have passed.

New Yorkers will never forget their Bravest and Finest, who selflessly gave their all to help us on 9/11/01, many of them paying the ultimate price in doing so. This is written in tribute to them.

May God bless them all -- they will never be forgotten.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Visually passé, but musically outstanding, November 18, 2014
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This review is from: Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer (DVD)
Visually, this movie is a typical TV film of the seventies. The staging is unimaginative and, if I may say so, childish (the ship scenes reminded me of an Errol Flynn buccaneer movie I watched when I was 10 years old). But the opera is beautifully sung by the four principals and the chorus, and the orchestra, conducted by Sawallisch, gives us a splendid rendering of Wagner's score. Indeed the performance is so excellent musically that this movie may well serve as a standard by which to judge later DVD and BD versions of Der fliegende Holländer.
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Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer
Richard Wagner - Der fliegende Holländer by Vaclav Kaslik (DVD - 2008)
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