Reflections from Grammy Award winner Mark S. Doss about his second voyage of The Flying Dutchman
by on March 12, 2013 in Press Releases

Bologna, Italy – March 12, 2013 – I am thrilled to be back in Bologna, Italy, (having sung Jochanaan in Salome here in 2010) to perform the iconic role of the Dutchman in The Flying Dutchman. This is my second voyage in the title role, with performances on March 13, 17, 19 and 21, 2013 at the Teatro Comunale – an elegant and enchanting venue.

I am extremely fortunate that my recent performances of the Dutchman at Teatro Regio di Torino were well received. The opportunity to debut the role felt like a dream come true.

Additionally, my first ever interpretation of the role received rave reviews. In his critique of The Flying Dutchman at the Teatro Regio di Torino (October 17, 2012) Jacques Schmitt of ResMusica wrote:

“With Mark S. Doss, the cast includes one of the most beautiful voices that I can imagine in the title role. An already superb Jochanaan in Salomé in Torino in 2008, we find him here again in a role that is the measure of his superb voice. Full of innumerable colors, timbre, his voice has a unique harmonic richness that creates an irresistible attraction for this character. Costumed in a heavy black coat, he imposes his great stature on this ghostly man fleeing the illusion of happiness. Restrained in his gestures, with his large, warm and captivating voice, Mark S. Doss expresses marvelously the weariness of the eternal wandering Dutchman.”

This production by Yannis Kokkos and remounted by Stephan Grögler contrasts wonderfully with the Paris Opera production I did in Torino in October 2012. The large doorway, the huge painting and the suspended ropes now have me looking at a gigantic mirror at the back of the stage, a floor that opens and the physical presence of the Dutchman’s ship protruding onto the set.

I also feel the progression internally with this second voyage. The leading tones (notes that usually resolve upwards from instability to stability) have more meaning to me now and help me to define the Dutchman’s inner turmoil, just as the wavy vocal lines and accompaniment help me to feel the ebb and flow of his existence. This is another spiritual journey and incredibly profound for someone who studied for the priesthood. In April of 2005, I was in Italy performing Argante (a character with mostly external sensibilities) in Händel’s Rinaldo at La Scala, while Pope Benedict was being elected, and now I am in Italy again – with another conclave at hand – singing the spiritually oriented Dutchman.

I reviewed the Dutchman, after Torino, with James Vaughan (head coach at La Scala) and explored the depth of rich and dark colors that should be at the foundation of his sound, and with William Hicks of the Met coaching staff, I have been able to hone-in on the expansiveness of his declamatory lines. I am again blessed with wonderfully talented colleagues, led by the conductor Stefan Anton Reck. This will certainly be a voyage to remember.

Following my work with The Flying Dutchman in Bologna, I will be taking to the stage as Amonasro in Aida at the San Diego Opera (April 2013) and at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Spain (October/November 2013), followed by The Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffman with Tokyo Opera (November/December 2013).

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