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What a fascinating enterprise – the opportunity to hear not just Wagner’s original one-act version of the Flying Dutchman legend, written for Paris in 1841, but also that by Pierre- Louis Dietsch, premiered in Paris in 1842. The Wagner is conducted by Marc Minkowski and played with passion by Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, the Dietsch with affection. Dietsch’s work is generic but skilfully written, even the booklet describes it as a ‘mishmash of influences’: but it’s enjoyable and colourful if you think of it as Meyerbeer-lite. The casting is patchy. Evgeny Nikitin makes a gruff Holländer and Ingela Brimberg’s Senta alternates between feisty and pitchy. Eric Cutler’s Georg provides tenorial grace and Mika Kares is a solid Donald. In the French opera, Sally Matthews sounds resolute but slightly uncomfortable as Minna, Bernard Richter sails through Magnus’s stratospheric lines and, saving the best to the last solo voice, Russell Braun’s Troïl is a model of style and elegance. Minkowksi had the idea of presenting the two operas in a single evening. Enthralling, mad, or both?

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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