by John Singer Sargent
The Wreckers is a strange work because, though premiered in 1906, it contains little reference either to the work of Wagner or to Debussy. Smyth’s music is clearly of the Stanford/Parry/Brahms axis, not surprising given her age and the fact that she was trained in Leipzig. But structurally the opera seems to ignore many of the recent developments, at least in the first two acts. But in act three, when Mark and Thirza are tried by the wreckers and then marooned in the cave, things really take off; or they can do.