THE ROYAL OPERA PRESENTS
DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER
5, 9, 12, 17, 20, 24 February at 7.30pm
Box Office: 020 7304 4000 or online at
Tickets £9- £190
Tim Albery’s Olivier Award-nominated production returns to the Royal Opera House for its second revival since its creation in 2009. Der fliegende Holländer is Wagner’s first true music drama. The production is set in a bleak, modern Baltic port, brought to life by the set designs of Michael Levine, Constance Hoffman’s costumes and the atmospheric lighting design by David Finn. Movement is by Philippe Giraudeau. The atmosphere of the production is dark and intense, matching the opera’s themes of longing and denial, despair, hope and redemption.
The Flying Dutchman has been cursed for eternity after he made a rash vow. Once every seven years he is allowed to come ashore to seek redemption: a woman who will be true to him for life. He may have found this woman in Senta, who longs to escape from her dreary life and dull suitor Erik. Senta accepts the Dutchman’s offer of marriage. But the Dutchman wrongly suspects her of unfaithfulness. Can Senta’s devotion convince him otherwise and end the curse?
Shortly before the premiere of Der fliegende Holländer in Dresden, Wagner had returned from a deeply unsuccessful twoyear stint in Paris. He had gone there to make his fortune, but found his way barred by a strict class-based system. One of the bitterest blows came when Léon Pillet, director of the Paris Opéra, accepted his libretto for Der fliegende Holländer — but then commissioned a score not from Wagner but from French composer Pierre-Louis Dietsch. Wagner returned to Germany disheartened. But the Dresden premieres of first Rienzi in October 1842 and then Der fliegende Holländer in January 1843 were immense successes, and marked the beginning of Wagner’s career as one of the greatest operatic composers. Tim Albery’s production delves deep into the troubled psychology of Wagner’s cursed wanderer and his beloved Senta, detailing the obsessions and uncompromising idealism that bring them together but threaten to tear them apart. Michael Levine’s elemental single set is dominated by a rolling metal hull that represents the treacherous sea, Daland’s ship, the poverty of Senta’s home and the sewing factory where she works and the shabby quayside area where the sailors hold a party. Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons is acclaimed for his interpretations of Wagner, and directs a world-class cast. Welsh-bass baritone Bryn Terfel
reprises the role of the Dutchman and Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka sings Senta. They are joined by British bass Peter Rose as Daland and German-Canadian tenor Michael König making his Royal Opera debut
as Erik. The performance on 24 Feburary will be relayed live to more than 1,500 cinemas in nearly fifty countries as part of the Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season.