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The Flying Dutchman
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October
Friday
19
07:00 PM
October
Sunday
21
02:00 PM
October
Saturday
27
07:30 PM
October
Tuesday
30
07:30 PM
November
Friday
02
07:30 PM
  • SubjectSubject
  • Running TimeRunning Time
  • AgeAge
  • LanguageLanguage
Language

Sung in German with projected English translation

Age

Appropriate for all ages

Running Time

2 hours and 20 minutes
No intermission

Subject

A haunting love story.

 

Every seven years, the Dutchman comes ashore for a chance to break the curse that binds him to the desolate seas. His quest for true love leads him to Senta, a captain's daughter who has been obsessing over a mystifying portrait of him. When the two meet, the Dutchman is hopeful, but Senta must decide between her arranged marriage and her overpowering love for the Dutchman.

HGO's first Wagner opera since the four-part Ring cycle, this new production of The Flying Dutchman heightens the dramatic elements of the famous legend of a cursed ghost ship and features Andrzej Dobber in the title role.

Cast and Creative Team

Dutchman

Andrzej Dobber

Senta

Melody Moore 

Daland

Kristinn Sigmundsson

Erik

Eric Cutler

Steersman

Richard Trey Smagur

Mary

Leia Lensing

Conductor

Patrick Summers

Director

Tomer Zvulun

Set & Costume Designer   

Jacob A. Climer 

Lighting Designer

Amith Chandrashaker 

Projections Designer

S. Katy Tucker 

Associate Director

Brenna Corner


Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Richard Bado, Chorus Master
The Sarah and Ernest Butler Chorus Master Chair

Co-Production by Houston Grand Opera, The Atlanta Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. 

Act I

A raging storm has forced a Norwegian captain, Daland, to beach his ship seven miles from his home port. While the captain and crew retire to await better weather, the lone helmsman sings to keep up his spirits, but is soon overcome by sleep. Suddenly, a tattered, ghostly vessel comes into view. Its captain is the Flying Dutchman, who has been condemned with his crew to sail the seas indefinitely. Once every seven years he is granted repose from his joumeys, and only then may he come ashore to search for a woman who will love him faithfully. Thus far, every search has been in vain, and now the Dutchman yearns only for an end to his voyage. Daland returns and, noticing the alien vessel, hails its captain. The Dutchman offers him a chest of jewels in exchange for a night's shelter in his home. When Daland tells him that he has a daughter, Senta, the Dutchman declares he would give everything he possesses for her hand. Daland can scarcely believe that he may at last have found a wealthy husband for his daughter. The Dutchman dares once again to hope that he has found the woman who will release him from his curse. The weather abates. As Daland and his crew set sail for home, the Dutchman promises he will follow them.

 

Act II

In Daland’s house a group of young women work at their spindles under the supervision of Senta’s nurse, Mary. All but Senta sing of awaiting the return of their men from the sea. Senta is lost in dreamy contemplation of a portrait of a pale, ghostly figure, the Flying Dutchman himself. The girls teasingly warn Senta that Erik, a hunter who is in love with her, will be jealous. Senta asks Mary to sing the ballad of the doomed man in the portrait. When Mary refuses, Senta herself recounts the tale of a ship’s captain, cursed by Satan because of a blasphemous oath and condemned to sail the seas until he finds a woman who will love him faithfully unto death. Senta suddenly declares her desire to be that redeemer. Mary and the girls are horrified, as is Erik, who has entered with the news of Daland’s return.

Alone with Senta, Erik reproaches her for her obsession with the Dutchman. He knows that Daland will not settle for a poor son-in-law, but he begs Senta for even the slightest return of his love. When she demurs, Erik tells her of a dream he had in which Senta and a phantom sailor disappeared together over the sea. Believing this to be an omen, Senta ecstatically vows that she will sacrifice herself to save the Dutchman. Erik leaves in despair. When Daland enters with the Dutchman, Senta and the stranger gaze at each other in wonder, oblivious to Daland’s formalities. When they are left alone, the Dutchman asks Senta if she will be the woman he has long dreamed of. With deep compassion, Senta responds that she will be faithful to him unto death. Daland returns and congratulates the newly betrothed couple.

 

Act III

The sailors celebrate their homecoming. The Dutchman's boat rests nearby, dark and quiet. The young women arrive with food and drink, and as the merriment grows, the Norwegians repeatedly call to the Dutch sailors to join the festivities. Nearby, the sea begins to seethe as if in a storm. Suddenly a ghostly chorus bursts forth, drowning out the festivities and causing the Norwegian sailors to flee below deck. Senta appears, pursued by Erik. He demands to know how she can break his heart and reminds her that she once swore to be faithful to him. The Dutchman, partially overhearing Erik’s wild entreaties, hastily concludes that he has been betrayed yet again. Senta tries to convince him of her faithfulness, but to no avail. The Dutchman, believing himself doomed, prepares to cast off. Daland and Erik hold Senta back, but she breaks free and hurls herself into the sea, declaring herself faithful unto death and breaking the curse.

 

HGO Performance History

HGOhas performed Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman for the first time during the 1965–66 season (with Joshua Hecht in the title role), with subsequent stagings in seasons 1984–85 (James Morris) and 1998–99 (Franz Grundheber).

CAST

Andrzej Dobber
Dutchman
Melody Moore
Senta
Steersman
Leia Lensing
Mary

CREATIVE TEAM

Patrick Summers
Conductor
Tomer Zvulun
Director
Jacob A. Climer
Set and Costume Designer
Amith Chandrashaker
Lighting Designer
S. Katy Tucker
Projection/Video Designer
Brenna Corner
Associate Director
Richard Bado
Chorus Master

* HGO debut
** HGO Studio Artist
*** Former HGO Studio Artist
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