“THE FLYING DUTCHMAN”
Brooding. Boundless. Haunting.
The Flying Dutchman, a cursed sea captain, sails his phantom ship across the world’s oceans. Only true love can save him and every seven years he is allowed one night to venture ashore in search of the right bride. The Flying Dutchman was only Wagner’s second opera to be successfully staged but its brooding tension, boundless energy and haunting melodies ensure it is still a firm favorite today.
This co-production with Opera Queensland stars Jason Howard as The Dutchman, Christchurch-born bass Paul Whelan as Daland, and Irish soprano Orla Boylan as Senta.
Off the Norwegian coast, a community of women are yearning for the return of their men. But Senta is obsessed with a different passion – she fantasizes about the myth of the Flying Dutchman, and longs to save his tormented soul. When her father, Daland, is caught out in a storm at sea, he catches sight of the blood-red sails of the Dutchman’s ship and invites the stranger home, never dreaming of the captain’s true identity.
Accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus
Sung in German with English surtitles
A co-production with Opera Queensland
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, October 5—12, 2013;
St James Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand, September 14—21
“As a passionate practitioner of theatre in music I think of the scene in which the ghostly crew of the Dutchman’s ghostly ship answers the call of the chorus on shore as one of the most hair-raising in opera”
Wyn Davies, Conductor
The Dutchman: Jason Howard
Senta: Orla Boylan
Daland: Paul Whelan
The Steersman: Shaun Dixon
Mary: Wendy Doyle
Conductor: Wyn Davies
Director: Matthew Lutton
Production Designer: Zoe Atkinson
Lighting Designer: Jon Buswell
Artists assemble for bold new production.
When New Zealand Opera’s season of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman opens on October 5th, some of the biggest and best voices in the business will be on stage.
Aidan Lang, General Director of NZ Opera, says Wagner’s magnificent music requires singers who possess vocal power and stamina as well as acting prowess. “And we feel confident we have achieved this with our international cast,” he says. “The leading principals – Welsh baritone Jason Howard (The Dutchman), New Zealand bass Paul Whelan (Daland), and Irish soprano Orla Boylan (Senta) – have all received the highest accolades for their previous Wagnerian roles, while English tenor Peter Auty (an intense and superbly sung Turiddu in 2011’s Cavalleria rusticana) makes his Wagnerian debut as Erik. In smaller roles, but also taking to the stage with all the right credentials are New Zealanders Shaun Dixon (tenor, The Steersman) and Wendy Doyle (mezzo soprano, Mary).”
This new production of The Flying Dutchman is New Zealand’s first fully staged Wagner
opera in over 20 years. It is also a production of bold proportions, created by award-winning Director Matt Lutton and Designer Zoe Atkinson, two highly imaginative and creative Australians of the same generation as Wagner when he wrote the opera, aged just 28.
In later years Wagner referred to opera as ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’, or ‘total work of art’, the
synthesis of the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts. “Although The Flying Dutchman is an early example of Wagner’s work,” Lang says, “it contains a glorious fusion of all these art forms.
“And if you’ve never experienced Wagner before and are curious to, this opera will likely
hook you forever,” he adds.