Accessibility links


Sign In
  • Home
  • News
  • Your reaction: Der fliegende Holländer live in cinemas

Your reaction: Der fliegende Holländer live in cinemas

What did you think of the live cinema relay of Wagner's early masterpiece?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

24 February 2015 at 10.07pm | 59 Comments

What did you think of Der fliegende Holländer in cinemas?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

24 February 2015 at 10.07pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Tim Albery, cinema, Der fliegende Holländer, live, Production, review, Social Media, The Flying Dutchman, twitter, your reaction

This article has 59 comments

  1. stunning performance tonight.

  2. serena responded on 24 February 2015 at 10:40pm Reply

    Great, impressive.

  3. Peter Freestone responded on 24 February 2015 at 10:41pm Reply

    Fabulous performance especially from Adrianne Pieczonka.
    Great chorus as well!

  4. karenb responded on 24 February 2015 at 10:43pm Reply

    My first time at this opera. Peter Rose looked mightily relieved to have got to the end without incident; I wouldn't have known he was unwell had Kasper Holten not made an announcement. Great singing from all the principals and orchestra sounded wonderful.

  5. katef responded on 24 February 2015 at 10:54pm Reply

    Loved the flying dutchman. Bravi tutti!!!!!! And a special bravo for Bryn

  6. As ever great singing and playing although overture in particular could be speeded up. The repeated trailers for forthcoming productions were definitely overkill, off-putting and irritating, both before and afterwards - with a head full of Wagner, one does not immediately want to be distracted. In France, the subtitles before the actual performance flashed on and off far to quickly for our French friends

  7. Michael Ashworth responded on 24 February 2015 at 10:59pm Reply

    Wonderful performance. I can only echo what's been said in these tweets BUT I was alarmed by Simon Callow in his otherwise excellent introduction inviting people to tweet despite there being no interval, the implication being that they should do so DURING the performance. Having recently had my first ever (live) opera at the Bolshoi ruined by just this behaviour, I feel it's up to ROH to uphold the tradition of not distracting others and ruining their enjoyment of the performance.

  8. Barbara Stevens responded on 24 February 2015 at 11:04pm Reply

    Brilliant performance. Not a cough from the audience

  9. John Kellas responded on 24 February 2015 at 11:10pm Reply

    First experience of ROH in cinema, and we were not disappointed. Compared with being in the ROH stalls, the ability to see in detail the dramatic performances of all, including in particular the chorus, was a real eye-opener. Outstanding singing all round. Two quibbles - no surtitles (so necessary in Wagner); and we were not sure about the balance of voice v orchestra (the voices seemed very bright). We shall definitely go again, but we will not be giving up the live performances either!

  10. John Galpin responded on 24 February 2015 at 11:12pm Reply

    I was at the Odeon Maidenhead and there the sound balance was really poor. The orchestra was fine but unfortunately drowning quite a lot of the quieter sung passages. And Bryn Terfel takes some drowning! It improved a bit towards the end but was one of the worst we have been to , and we must have been to at least a dozen from ROH there. Were all the microphones really balanced/working?

    Secondly whilst not as bad as the truly awful camera work/direction/ cinema editing for the ballet Alice in Wonderland was please stop behaving as if you know better than the stage director as to what the audience wish to see. You treat it more like a version of East Enders edited for a television screen. We don't need 5 meter high "torso shots" on a cinema screen! We can see their faces well enough without them. What you are doing is editing out what the partner in a duo is doing when the other person is singing and sorry, but that is plain dumb. What they are doing matters and we want to see it, it's part of the scene and it was designed that way. So why do you cinema camera editors think you are better at Opera staging than the professionals who designed it in the first place? Take the trouble to go and see what you are doing on a cinema screen and see how unnecessary all these "close ups" are and how much of value you are editing out.

  11. Merv Skinner responded on 24 February 2015 at 11:16pm Reply

    Once again the superb ROH delivers another stunning production , and we are so very lucky to have the live streams giving us the opportunity to see world class opera in our own 'back yard'! Bryn Terfels tour de force as The Dutchman and the wonderful Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta headed a production that proves the ROH does it best! Congratulations to all involved!

  12. Stuart Gardner responded on 24 February 2015 at 11:30pm Reply

    Very disappointing sound in the cinema in Dunfermline, it was like listening to a Chamber Orchestra. You could hear the singers well, but sometimes was difficult to hear the orchestra.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 2 March 2015 at 5:17pm

      Dear Stuart

      Apologies for the sound quality. Your comment has been passed to the cinema team who will look into the issue.

      Best wishes


  13. Graham Ransom responded on 24 February 2015 at 11:40pm Reply

    Sensational performance and a brilliant technical achievement to bring us such quality to our local cinema. Thank you.

  14. Catherine responded on 25 February 2015 at 12:14am Reply

    I have to say the same: What is the microphone for on the Steerman?

  15. Jude Bousfield responded on 25 February 2015 at 8:18am Reply

    Only just found the broadcasts at local cinema
    Love it love it love it
    What good seats at superb performance
    Just tweet the synchronising of voice and mouth and would give 100% top marks

  16. Sue Mayo responded on 25 February 2015 at 8:23am Reply

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the opportunity of seeing this wonderful production in rural central south western France. For only 12 euros, a trip of 10 minutes to the cinema,, easy and free parking we were able to be in the stalls of the ROH. How different from our days in the UK when we started our journey to London at 5.30 and had to leave the performance 10 minutes before the end as the last train was leaving.

  17. gindensperger responded on 25 February 2015 at 8:46am Reply

    vu au cinéma CGR de Lanester( France); son très mauvais, pas de relief stéréo. estr ce normal?
    g g

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 2 March 2015 at 5:16pm

      Apologies, Guy. We will look into the problem.

      Best wishes


  18. Martin Goodwin responded on 25 February 2015 at 8:54am Reply

    Fabulous singing and playing, and intriguing staging, spoilt by silly ending and unforgiveable trailing of Swan Lake before final curtain.

  19. Sally Gibbons responded on 25 February 2015 at 9:16am Reply

    Terrific singing, wonderful music - excellent production, ruined by the last 30 seconds. I know I'm only re-stating a very old argument, but Wagner's stage directions are: " She flings herself into the sea: at that same moment the Dutchman's ship sinks and quickly disappears as a wreck. In the far distance the Dutchman and Senta, he embracing her, rise from the water, both transfigured." I know Wagner's directions are often a tad difficult to implement, but surely it isn't beyond the imagination of someone to at least suggest this via lighting and special effects? Without Senta's redemption of the Dutchman the whole opera is totally pointless, and deeply unsatisfying.

  20. Andy Taylor responded on 25 February 2015 at 9:23am Reply

    Absolutely riveting! The cinema is a great place to watch opera, especially as you get close ups of the singers.
    You can almost feel as if you were on the stage with them.
    The time just flew by.

  21. Elisabeth Rettenmoser responded on 25 February 2015 at 9:24am Reply

    Greetings from Vienna!
    Great Performance yesterday with best Holländer ever, Bryn Terfel. But I was really disappointed because of the sound of the transmission. It sounded flat, like mono, no power, no clearness! Last time by Andrea Chenier it was much better. Don't no if it's the transmission or the cinema's technique?!

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 25 February 2015 at 12:58pm

      Hi Elisabeth,

      Glad you enjoyed the performance but sorry to hear about the sound issues. Which cinema in Vienna were you at? Our technical team will be in contact to ascertain why their sound wasn't up to standard.


      ROH Content Producer

  22. Stuart Sampson responded on 25 February 2015 at 10:19am Reply

    I agree whole heartedly with John Galpin. I enjoyed the Hollander in Tamworth but felt blinkered by the CUs. I too like to choose what I look at. It doesn't do to only be aware of a singer's entrance by seeing a shadow. You don't deny the viewers the sound of the orchestra during an aria, so why deny them sight of other performers, the choreography, set, lighting etc.?

    • Sally Gibbons responded on 25 February 2015 at 11:13am

      I am of the opposite opinion here. One of the joys of the cinema showings is that you get to really see the facial expressions of the artistes, and (especially in opera) this can be a major advantage. I would not advocate close-ups to the total exclusion of all else, but they do add to the experience. Best of all is to be able to see it live on stage, and then follow up with a cinema showing to pick up on small details which are easily missed from a seat in a large auditorium.

  23. Austen Biss and Sue Biss responded on 25 February 2015 at 11:03am Reply

    Wonderful performance, orchestra, soloists, chorus. Fabulous fabulous fabulous. Cinema in Brighton so comfortsble and welcoming. But cut down on close-ups please, and ads at the end are not necessary and distracting. Perhaps stay at ROH a tad longer. So looking forward to Swan Lake, La Boheme and William Tell. Thank you thank you thank you.

  24. Peter Erdos responded on 25 February 2015 at 11:53am Reply

    However much I enjoyed the musical performance I still feel uneasy of the production (as I did the first time in the theatre)
    I missed the terror and the drama of the "ghost-ship"'s arrival, I did not like the sewing machines , when the ladies are singing about spinning wheels, and worst of all, the ending. Senta's dying with clutching the toy ship is not implying the redemption of the Dutchman which is the essence of the whole story. It seems that producers are not following Wagner's instructions these days at all.
    Musically things were better, terrific singing and acting By Adrienne Pieczonka, Bryn was a faultless Dutchman in good voice, Konig's Eric sounded mellow and beautiful, unfortunately Peter Rose was having a cold and sounded slightly below par. The orchestra played wonderfully under A. Nelsons.
    I also noticed as J.Galpin, the unevenness of the sound which was apparent at the Andrea Chenier as well. It should be looked into.
    Otherwise great performance, great evening.

  25. Noel Urwin responded on 25 February 2015 at 11:58am Reply

    A fantastic first ROH live experience for my wife and I. Both entranced throughout the entire performance. I particularly was struck by the bucolic party thrown by the Steersman and his buddies - and their lady friends! Showed what the ROH chorus can really do! The music for that piece was new to both of us, and we loved it.

  26. Kevin B responded on 25 February 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

    Not being a great Wagner fan, I took this opportunity to see Dutchman in the cinema as an inexpensive way to test my tolerance for two and a half hours of his music.

    I have to say that by the end I was really into it. The quality of the singing, playing and production overcame my doubts and I enjoyed an excellent evening.

    On the ending, I know that Richard wanted to finish his opera with a touch of redemption, but that would have left no room for a sequel.

    Keep an eye out for 'Hollander II, He's back and he's mad'. in an opera house near you.

  27. Enjoyed watching in comfortable Odeon in Waterrford SE Ireland Subtitles Sound all good. I would have found two and half hours a long sit in a theatre but not so much in the cinema although the interval chit chat with other audience members is part of the experience and I did miss it. I didn't miss the interviews with performers which tend to spoil the illusion.

  28. Piet Delhoofen responded on 25 February 2015 at 3:21pm Reply

    Also in Alfaz del Pi, Allicante, Spain, a wonderfull performance in a theatre with 80 people.

  29. Sarariches responded on 25 February 2015 at 3:23pm Reply

    Wonderful singing, wonderful orchestra, thank you so much. I would never known that Daland was ill. And I loved Bryn Terfel as the Dutchman. Really loved his performance.

  30. John Hunter responded on 25 February 2015 at 4:28pm Reply

    Attended nearly all the live opera relays and it is a continuing thrill to see these here in the Scottish Borders. I loved the performance and production. I saw it in the Theatre during the last run and the two experiences compliment each other. The main difference for me was the vastly superior conducting of Andris Nelsons. ( I am going to hear him conduct Mahler 6 in Birmingham at the weekend and fear for my emotional well being!!) Like some of the other comments I have noticed a marked deterioration in the sound quality particularly during the last 2 broadcasts and this does need attention I think. However the excitement in attending these broadcasts remains, and I already look forward to the next.

  31. Jen Bannister responded on 25 February 2015 at 5:12pm Reply

    Saw The Dutchman in Monmouth last night. Production excellent. One adverse comment - the orchestra was under miked so too quiet throughout; ditto the singers on occasions, especially during Senta and Dutchman duet (the latter hardly audible)

  32. Ghyslaine responded on 25 February 2015 at 5:47pm Reply

    Je m'attendais à quelque chose de fort d'abord par l’œuvre mais aussi à cause du cheF et des chanteurs.Cela a été au delà de mes espérances.J'ai entrainé 8 amis à cette représentation dont certains ne connaissaient pas Wagner ni même cet opéra.J'ai le sentiment de leur avoir fait découvrir un monde merveilleux.Que d'émotion§

  33. Douglas Bateman responded on 25 February 2015 at 7:16pm Reply

    This was my first experience of Opera in the Cinema. Pleasantly surprised and the spookiest Dutchman crew I have ever seen.
    Any chance of the Ring on it's next outing?

  34. jane stephen responded on 25 February 2015 at 7:27pm Reply

    Watched Der fliegende Hollander in Penzance .What a great performance.But the problem was NO Subtitles. being with a nvice to opera it was difficult for her.Once again brrilliant performance. Jane Penzance

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 26 February 2015 at 8:46pm

      Thank you Jane, we will contact the cinema. Unless you tell us otherwise I will assume that you attended the screening at the Savoy Cinema.

      Best wishes


  35. charles draper responded on 25 February 2015 at 8:22pm Reply

    It wasn't just the staging that mangled the ending; we didn't get the redemptive last page of the score, either!

    • Sally Gibbons responded on 26 February 2015 at 9:19am

      Thank you Charles Draper, that, of course, explains several things, including the audience reaction and why I left cinema feeling as if I'd been chopped off at the knees!

    • Dick Carter responded on 1 March 2015 at 9:48pm

      That's because they were using Wagner's original score for the first performance at Dresden, which he later revised, and it is this later version which most people are familiar with. The Dresden score concludes as we heard in this performance without a final repetition of the "redemption" motive. Alberry's staging of the end of the opera only makes sense with the Dresden version.

  36. Catherine responded on 25 February 2015 at 9:04pm Reply

    That's how I would like my canned music: No close ups and no fiddling with volume.
    Wishful thinking?
    In a near future playing with volume will kill the need for talented opera performers.
    A new style will be born, beautiful voices, whatever their projection, mic-ed. It will be so different and so easy to acceed to that opera will slowly disappear into oblivion.
    Unfortunately a handful of crazies like me will cry...
    Or maybe... should not opera be performed in smaller theaters, for crazies like me? Please, please, pleaaaase...

  37. Kay Collins responded on 25 February 2015 at 10:30pm Reply

    My first time for opera in a cinema as I usually visit ROH etc Good for sending opera to the masses but falls very short of the real thing The performers were fantastic and the production not as bad as I feared having seen many productions in the past and read David Mellors critic The conducting was very pedestrian and lacked Wagners requirement for contrast in sound and tempo which makes his work so exciting The volumn was inadequate which was a disappointment The cinema seats were uncomfortable for 3 hours but that is down to the venue
    Despite all that it is fantastic that the arts are now much more accessible to everyone

  38. Gerard Cadwallader responded on 25 February 2015 at 10:49pm Reply

    Watched it in Scunthorpe and loved it. That was some singing with a bad cold by Daland and he looked exhausted at the end. Loved Senta. Bryn Terfel as commanding as always. The live screenings are a terrific idea.

  39. Elisabeth Rettenmoser responded on 26 February 2015 at 10:04am Reply

    Hi Chris,
    thanx for your answer!
    The Cinema in Vienna is the UCI KINOWELT - Millenium City. And - by the way - I was not the only one who was disappointed by the sound. And, as I mentioned, last time by Andrea Chenier it was much better.
    Kind regards from Vienna,

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 26 February 2015 at 8:44pm

      Thank you Elisabeth, we will look into the problems.

      Best wishes


  40. liz brereton responded on 26 February 2015 at 6:35pm Reply

    We went to Cineworld in Wakefield to see Flying Dutchman, and were told the live relay had been cancelled. We were SO disappointed. The Manager had no idea why. Is this to be repeated in other Cineworlds? Has the ROH ceased showing its relays in these cinemas? We, and several others were left in the foyers without information. Your comment Chris will be welcomed.


    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 26 February 2015 at 8:42pm

      Dear Liz

      We will ask what has happened.

      Best wishes


  41. Leonie Thompson responded on 27 February 2015 at 7:31am Reply

    Saw this opera at the local theatre with a friend who had a spare ticket. Hadn't seen any opera for decades but I absolutely loved was an excellent production and the intensity and quality of the performances were incredible. Just didn't want it to end! Will be looking out for future screenings with great anticipation!

  42. roland wilding responded on 27 February 2015 at 1:11pm Reply

    saw this in Barnet - did not hear anyone cough or move in their seat - felt I was at sea
    and then realised over two hours had vanished - total immersion thank richard for stating no interval - but sorry I did not see the redemptive ending richard also specified - Senta jumps into the sea, the dutchman's ship sinks - then the embracing dutchman and senta rise
    together - maybe he should fly out of the water holding senta and spray the audience. If anyone has a spare Beyreut ticket please let me know.

  43. Lucinda Lewis responded on 28 February 2015 at 9:03am Reply

    Glorious singing but too many close-ups. We never felt we were sitting in the best seats in the house as we have in almot all the other Live relays. The Director should always keep this in mind and stop the production becoming too filmic.

  44. David Foulger responded on 2 March 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    I had forgotten what an utterly dreary production this is, typical of Tim Albery. Like being stranded in a damp waiting room of a provincial railway station in the 1950's. However things were not helped by the sound quality in the Curzon Richmond, where it seemed liked mono at a volume level that was too low, removing any "tingle factor" from the orchestra, chorus and particularly the singers. I find this to be a frequent problem with the Royal Opera relays, and I have now tried several cinemas in London, the most satisfactory of which is the Odeon on Shaftesbury Avenue. But even here I am itching to turn up the volume just one or two notches. I go to a lot of these relays nowadays and do not have this problem with the MET relays from New York, which come over with much more impact. It seems you must transmit at a lower level, so perhaps you could ask the cinemas concerned to just give the sound a little more volume.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 2 March 2015 at 4:23pm

      Thanks for the feedback David - I will pass on to the cinema team.

      Best wishes


  45. Hilary muggridge responded on 3 March 2015 at 7:10am Reply

    Terfel terrific and altho Pieczomka has lovely voice, don't think big enough for Senta. V dark and dreary production. Social realism all very well but given the gloomy tale, doubly depressing! Sound in Odeon Shaftesbury Avenue strange....orchestra sounded very bland indeed ( I usually sit in the slips at ROH so get the full monty, sound wise from there ) and please cd you tell cinema that the volume needs to be increased....singing sounded both discreet and muted. It felt like one was at home with an average sound system with the whole lot turned down so as not to disturb the neighbours

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 3 March 2015 at 8:07am

      Thanks for the feedback, Hilary. We will look into the sound issues.

      Best wishes


  46. William Falk responded on 3 March 2015 at 1:27pm Reply

    I enjoyed this enormously at the O2 centre in Finchley Road. Sound was terrific after my last visit there to see Nabucco in 2013.

    Any chance that Tim Alberry's production of Tannhauser which I understand is going to be revived in the 2015/16 season will be given a cinema relay?

    • David Foulger responded on 4 March 2015 at 10:42am

      You will see I have commented upon the poor sound quality at the Richmond Curzon. I live nearer the O2 and was interested that you said the sound quality there was good. I did go there last year but was not impressed, maybe I should give it another try.

  47. Stephen Barber responded on 18 December 2017 at 10:28pm Reply

    I aw this in the cinema. I think it is quite unforgivable not only to change the ending into the opposite of what Wagner intended but to give no indication at all that this has been done. If Tim Albery does not understand or does not like Wagner's conception of redemption through love he should leave this work and much of the rest of Wagner alone or write his own versions of the stories

Comment on this article

Your email will not be published

Website URL is optional