Der fliegende Holländer

Horst Stein
Choeur du Grand Théâtre de Genève
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
1 February 1980
Grand Théâtre de Genève
Recording Type
  live  studio
  live compilation  live and studio
DalandKarl Ridderbusch
SentaMaria Slatinaru
ErikRobert Schunk
MaryLivia Budai
Der Steuermann DalandsErnst-Dieter Suttheimer
Der HolländerLeif Roar
Stage directorJean-Claude Riber (1980)
Set designerPier Luigi Pizzi
TV directorJean Bovon

M. Riber himself produced Der fliegende Hollander to universal acclaim in 1974. For his new production (January 20) he decided to give the opera in Wagner’s single act. The only disadvantage to this is the constraint placed on the design for the second act. Here the huge stage seemed deserted, with only a handful of spinning wheels, one armchair and a portrait of the Dutchman — hardly ‘a spacious room in Daland’s house’. Otherwise Pier Luigi Pizzi’s sets and costumes were impressive. The arrival of the Dutchman’s ship in the first act, with its gilded figure-head and billowing red sail, was a genuine coup de theatre.

In the pit, Horst Stein galvanised the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande into creating a series of aural marine vignettes. The cast was, once more, outstanding, from Karl Ridderbusch’s warmly human Daland to Leif Roar’s disquieting nobility in the title-role and the generous-toned Senta of Maria Slatinaru (though she also has an admirable mezza-voce). Robert Schunk was a vocally excellent Erik and Livia Budai an amusing Mary. Ernst Dieter Suttheimer’s combination of amazing physical agility (he scaled the rigging with ease) and vocal prowess made him a notable Steersman.


Michael Richter


Live performance directed by Riber. Representational sets with billowing scarlet ‘sails’ and other highlights set off drab but traditional costumes. Acting is fluent and natural.


Stein lets the score play through to excellent effect. Orchestra and chorus are sonorous and accurate. Roar’s gruff sound serves the part well in its way. Slatinaru offers a large instrument slightly less warm than ideal (and occasionally shrill and even sharp). Ridderbusch is inadequate; Shunk is fine, better than the part demands (or usually gets). Suttheimer is clearly over his head.


Video is good for the era but inadequate lighting loses detail. Stereo is more effective in the orchestra than on the stage, but overall sound is fine. Direction is crisp and not overly fussy. In all, the performance is effective beyond its individual strengths and in spite of relatively minor weaknesses.

User Rating
Media Type/Label
Dreamlife, OA
Technical Specifications
704×528, 1768 kbit/s, 1.6 GByte, 4:3, Japanese subtitles (MPEG-4)