Melbourne has become quite a Wagner town in recent years. Opera Australia followed up its two seasons of the Ring Cycle with Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg last year. Victorian Opera presented its own Dutchman in 2015 and is about to unveil its first production of Parsifal. Having presented Tannhäuser, Lohengrinand  Tristan and Isolde , Melbourne Opera now turns its attention back to Wagner’s early masterpiece. It is surely a sign of operatic good times that audiences can enjoy two fine productions of The Flying Dutchman less than five years apart.

This Melbourne Opera production continues to uphold the company’s commitment to high production values, and the admirable intersection of good quality community involvement with a 100-strong chorus and professional principals and creatives.

Lee Abrahmsen and Darren Jeffery. Photograph © Robin Halls

Melbourne Opera has assembled a consistently fine cast of principals, led by English bass-baritone Darren Jeffery in his Australian debut as the Dutchman and local soprano Lee Abrahmsen as his bewitched lover, Senta. Bass, Steven Gallop impresses with the vocal strength and clarity he brings to his portrayal of Daland, Senta’s father while Rosario La Spina, in his first Wagnerian role, brings plenty...