Wagner: Der fliegende Holländer (In French) - Bianco, Moizan, Giraudeau, Depraz; Bruck. ORTF, 1958
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Wagner intended the ghost story that would become his first masterpiece, Der fliegende Holländer for the Paris stage, and indeed sold it to the intendant of the Paris Opera, but unfortunately said impresario didn't quite get it, and wound up passing. This french performance gives us a taste of what Wagner's original vision may have been, and makes a strong case for the translation. René Bianco is a tower of anguished strength in the title role, and makes much of his massive act one monologue. Geneviève Moizan's Senta is a little heavier than I like in the role, but she cuts through the orchestra with a voice like steel. The supporting cast is strong, with a fine, almost-sympathetic Erik from Jean Giraudeau. Although the sound is far from good, Charles Bruck's handling of the orchestra and singers shows a well-balanced, firm control of the Wagnerian idiom. Unfortunately, the performance is missing the last 30 seconds of the opera.