WAGNER IN COOPERSTOWN

  • Before I saw Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman at Glimmerglass, I saw the exhibit on the Hudson school of painting at Coopertown’s Fenimore Museum.   It had been advertised that sets in the opera production had been inspired by the Hudson school paintings.  While this school was important in the development of American art, I saw little, if any, connection.

    Nonetheless, I enjoyed the opera production.  While looking nothing like a Hudson Valley painting, the set was brilliantly simple, allowing the props to morph into different objects in the story telling.  The orchestra was not top quality, but the singers were.  Of special note is Melody Moore as the obsessed Senta, who was able to bring sustained intensity to her rigorous Wagnerian role.

    As the stage director, Francesca Zambello, well understands, an opera is simply a play set to music. Wagner’s prowess as a dramatist is able to shine through in the story of the Dutch sailor condemned to wander the seas.  Wagner combines the best in both musical theatre and symphonic music.  One hundred years before Rodgers and Hammerstein, he moves the story forward through song. Also impressive is the Dutchman’s famous overture, which has the organic development of a one-movement symphony.

    It is well worth the trip to Cooperstown, located in New York’s Cherry Valley, to see The Flying Dutchman, which runs through late August.  And it almost goes without saying that the natural scenery around Cooperstown is in itself an artwork.

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About jalesy55

Charles Lupia is a playwright, freelance writer and lawyer. His blogs cover a range of topics, from politics to entertainment.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, music, Musical Theatre, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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