Wagner’s ‘Der fliegende Holländer’ on DVD

Pablo Heras-Casado’s first commercial Wagner recording is now available on the harmonia mundi label. This DVD capture of Der fliegende Holländer (‘The Flying Dutchman’) was recorded in 2016 at Madrid’s Teatro Real, where Mr. Heras-Casado serves as Principal Guest Conductor. The production, new to the Real stage, was conceived of by Àlex Ollé of La Fura dels Baus. With a cast featuring Samuel Youn in the title role and Ingela Brimeberg as Senta, this highly anticipated video release is a must-have for opera fans this holiday season. Purchase your copy via Presto Classical or pre-order from Amazon.com.

From Pablo: “Can’t explain how much this means to me … I feel very proud of the work we did at the Teatro Real and with La Fura dels Baus with this stellar cast during 8 sold-out shows. Thanks to harmonia mundi for keeping the excitement: I couldn’t imagine a better month than this when I release Monteverdi and Wagner back to back!”

“…el mayor reclamo de estas funciones fue la presencia de Pablo Heras-Casado. Es el principal director invitado del Teatro Real, pero no se le ve en el foso de la orquesta muy a menudo; y, como he dicho antes, este fue su debut en una ópera de Wagner. A todo esto debería añadirse que es uno de los directores de orquesta más importantes en la genración venidera… la música estaba llena de energía y emoción.” (Seen and Heard International)

[“… the great attraction of these performances was the presence of Pablo Heras-Casado. He is principal guest conductor at the Teatro Real, but is not often present in the theatre pit; and, as mentioned above, this was his debut in a Wagner opera. To all this it should be added that he is one of the most important Spanish musical directors in the younger generation … the music was full of energy and strong emotion.” ]

“Pablo Heras-Casado consiguió sacar una música excelente de la orquesta residente. Empezó muy bien con una obertura que le dió a la ópera mucho momento, con cuerdas prominentes y una sección de viento metal desinibida. En general, su lectura de la partitura me pareció muy acertada, rápida y viva con el drama inherente a la partitura … La calidad de la ejecución orquestal fue realmente excepcional “.

[“Pablo Heras-Casado secured some excellent playing from the house band.  It started so well with an overture that had an irresistible forward momentum, with surging strings and uninhibited brass. I found his reading on the whole to be well paced, nicely swift and alive to the drama inherent in the score … The quality of the orchestral playing really was exceptional.”]

Critical Acclaim

“The performance benefits greatly from the focused conducting of Pablo Heras-Casado, whose pacing and style are bracing. He approaches the music as a storyteller, not with bombast and over-refinement. Rather than the extreme contrasts so often heard (or aspired to) in Senta’s ballad, the scene moves in stages of intensity, like self-hypnosis. The conductor has the principals and chorus living their words, molding their musical lines, balancing control and abandon. Slow tempos, especially in the lover’s duet, stay taut and dynamic, and dialogue scenes benefit from orchestral restraint. There’s much to relish in Heras-Casado’s transparent textures and subtle transitions between scenes.”

Opera News

“A taut, thrilling Wagner debut from Heras-Casado coupled with a truly spectacular production by the Catalan director Àlex Ollé, who makes stunning use of video-projections and sets the opera in contemporary Chittagong, where the central themes of arranged marriage and ‘ghost’-ships play out rather more convincingly than it might sound on paper…”

Presto Classical

 Presto Recordings of the Year, Finalist 2017

DIAMANT d’Opéra Magazine

Pablo Heras-Casado is the Principal Guest Conductor of Teatro Real, Madrid, Director of the Granada Festival, Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, artist of harmonia mundi & Deutsche Grammophon, also records for Decca Classics and Sony Classical, and is Global Ambassador of Ayuda en Acción.


Photos: Fernando Sancho