Saturday, 12 May 2012
It's a new production of The Flying Dutchman at the ENO. It's a very dark stage. The ghost ship worked as it jutted out from the back. Costumes were not period specific, though not sure about Act II where the sewing machines were replaced by "ship in a bottle" production line. The art of stage projection continues to evolve. There was a lot of subtle projections in this production: the dreamy girl Senta was framed in her bedroom, the moody feel on stage, the storm. No doubt we will see more such clever use of projection technologies in the future.
James Creswell sang the title role well enough, though his acting was somewhat wooden. Orla Boylan's Senta was very good - firm with conviction. And the cast of chorus gave all the big numbers enough welly. Ed Gardner's tempi were measured: too measured I'd say. It worked in the more pensive moments of the piece, but lacked urgency especially in the last act.