Surprised by a German’s Dutchman, Day 74 (14 of 25)
Say what you will about New York and its New Yorkers. I doubt soprano Lori Phillips could have found a more supportive and enthusiastic audience for her debut than the one at tonight’s Der Fliegende Holländer at The Metropolitan Opera. The thunderous applause echoed by a million bravas truly made me smile, and our continued encouragement of new artists only adds to my extreme love of the city.
Although generally not a lover of Richard Wagner, I found myself happily surprised by this earlier example of his more succinct and less obviously continuous works. Although the musicians gave a solid and committed performance both onstage and in the pit, I found myself truly most surprised by my enjoyment of the actual opera itself. The initial meeting between Senta and the Dutchman, the stuff of fairy tales and first love, seemed so perfectly expansive in that extended tension Wagner does so well. I absolutely loved the writing for the men’s chorus, who sang brilliantly up to the task.
Thankfully I had an incredibly enjoyable experience overall, though I had a attended primarily to hear and support my own colleague in his Met debut as a tenor in the offstage ghost chorus. A new addition to the city’s pool of performers, my longtime friend Nicholas Houhoulis adds to the talented and supportive nature of an already amazing artistic environment. Having attended every school together since the eighth grade, Nick and I seem to follow many of the same paths, and I love that he landed here at the Metropolitan Opera with me.
Congratulations to Lori Phillips, Nick Houhoulis, and the rest of the cast on a truly enjoyable evening at the opera. In standard fashion, I must force myself to retire to my dreams in order to wake up rested and ready for an early afternoon Bach audition. Practicing Verdi, auditioning Bach, and attending Wagner. Not a bad day at all.
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