The Flying Dutchman in Detroit



The Flying Dutchman

(Der Fliegende Holländer)
Opera in three acts

Music and libretto: Richard Wagner

Premiere: Dresden, 1843

Running time: About 3.5 hrs including two intermissions

Sung in German with English translations projected above the stage.

Performance schedule

Sat Oct 19, 2013 730p

Wed Oct 23, 2013 730p

Fri Oct 25, 2013 730p

Sat Oct 26, 2013 730p

Sun Oct 27, 2013 230p

The Norwegian coast is the setting for this saga of an ancient sea captain condemned to sail his phantom ship throughout eternity, unless he finds a faithful wife to release the curse. The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer) is regarded as the start of the mature Wagner canon.



loriPhillipsb200.jpg    LORI PHILLIPS, Senta
Most spectacular was soprano Lori Phillips with her huge voice, its rich colors and finely woven timbre ringing with luxurious warmth. Her voice dominated the stage. Her Act II ballad — riveting, spine-tingling — proved a high point.

-Opera News

 thomasGazheli200.jpg    THOMAS GAZHELI, Dutchman
Baritone Thomas Gazheli is blessed with an enormous voice and significant dramatic persuasion. His portrayal was a tour de force.

-Opera News

Elisabet Strid    ELISABET STRID, Senta
Vocally sublime Elisabet Strid … effortlessly sings this part that demands a great deal of its singer.


krisIrmiter200.jpg    KRISTOFER IRMITER, Dutchman
Kristopher Irmiter has all the requisites — dashing stage presence, acting ability and solid vocal technique.

-Opera News



Role: Senta
Dates: October 19, 23, 26



Role: Senta
Dates: October 25, 27


Bass baritone
Role: Dutchman
Dates: October 19, 23, 26


Bass baritone
Role: Dutchman
Dates: October 25, 27


Role: Erik
Dates: All


Role: Daland
Dates: All

  stevenMercurio200.jpgSTEVEN MERCURIO
bernardUzan200.jpgBERNARD UZAN


































dutchman_Fri325.jpgNorway, 1700s. An icy storm drives the sea captain Daland’s ship miles beyond his home on the coast. As the sky suddenly darkens and the waters again grow rough, another ship, a ghostly schooner, arrives and drops anchor next to Daland’s. Its captain, the Flying Dutchman, steps ashore, despairing of his fate. He once swore he would sail around the Cape of Good Hope if it took him forever, and the devil took him at his word. Once every seven years he may leave his ship in search of a woman who will redeem him from his deathless wandering if she gives him faithful, absolute love; failing this, he is condemned to roam the seas until the Day of Judgment. He tells Daland of his plight and offers a reward of gold and jewels for a night’s lodging. Then, discovering that Daland has a young daughter, the Dutchman asks for her hand in marriage. Daland, seeing the extent of the stranger’s wealth, immediately agrees. Instructing the Dutchman to follow, Daland sets sail for his home port.

At Daland’s house, his daughter, Senta, dreamily watches village women as they spin and make sails. They tease the girl about her suitor, the huntsman Erik, but she remains in a trance. Staring at a portrait of the Flying Dutchman, she sings a ballad about the phantom captain. With burning intensity she prays that she may be the one to save him. Erik enters and, after the others have left, asks Senta to plead his cause with Daland. Noticing her preoccupation with the Dutchman’s picture, he relates a frightening dream in which he saw her embrace the Dutchman and sail away in his ship. Senta exclaims that this is her own dream as well, and the despairing Erik rushes away. A moment later, the Dutchman himself stands before the girl. He tells her of his sad lot, and she vows to be faithful to him unto death. Daland blesses the union.

At the harbor, the villagers celebrate the sailors’ return. They invite the Dutchman’s crew to join them but are frightened away by the ghostly crew’s weird chanting. Senta soon rushes in, pursued by Erik, who insists she has pledged her love to him. Overhearing this, the Dutchman believes himself betrayed and jumps aboard his ship. As horrified villagers crowd the shore, he reveals his name and nature and sets sail. Senta runs to the top of a cliff, triumphantly proclaiming herself faithful unto death, and leaps into the sea.

— Courtesy of Opera News

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