Der fliegende Holländer
(The Flying Dutchman)
Music and libretto by Richard Wagner
Saturday June 22 at 8pm
Opening Night Champagne Reception at approximately 10:30pm, tickets required
Sunday June 30 at 3pm
McCarter Theatre Centre for the Performing Arts
» View Map
Tickets: $125 | $90 | $60 | $30Buy Tickets Reserved seating
Performed in German with English titles
The opera will be performed with an intermission after Act I
Approximate end time: 10:40pm on June 22, 5:40pm on June 30
Opening Night Champagne Reception Tickets: $10Buy Tickets
Tickets available in advance and at the door
Family Package available: Purchase of 1 adult ticket for $30, $60 or $90 allows purchase of up to 2 tickets at $15 each for students under 18 accompanying the adult. Please purchase by calling the McCarter Ticket Office at 609.258.2787.
» Download the Audience Guide
» Read libretto in English (courtesy of Steven LaCosse)
Wig & Make-up Design:
We celebrate the 2013 bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth with our first Wagnerian production! A sea captain cursed to sail the seas forever goes ashore in search of a woman who will redeem him through her faithful love in this work of wild and somber beauty.
Wagner claimed in his 1870 autobiography Mein Leben that he had been inspired to write The Flying Dutchman following a stormy sea crossing he made from Riga to London in July and August 1839. In his 1843 Autobiographical Sketch Wagner acknowledged he had taken the story from Heinrich Heine's retelling of the legend in his 1833 satirical novel The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski (Aus den Memoiren des Herrn von Schnabelewopski).
Known for singing all three Wotan roles at the Met (Spring 2013) and SF Opera (2011)
Considered one of the foremost Aidas in the world today
Has performed in over 250 Met performances since 1995
"Vibrant, convincing and beautiful" in Michigan Opera Theatre's The Magic Flute
Dana Beth Miller
Joining us fresh from singing Mary with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Loved as Rinuccio in last year's Gianni Schicchi
Place: On the coast of Norway
Time: 18th century
On his homeward journey, the sea-captain Daland is compelled by stormy weather to seek a port of refuge. He leaves the helmsman on watch and he and the sailors retire. (Song of the helmsman: "With tempest and storm on distant seas.") The helmsman falls asleep. A ghostly vessel appearing astern is dashed against Daland's vessel by the sea and the grappling irons hold the two ships together. Invisible hands furl the sails. A man of pale aspect, dressed in black, his face framed by a thick black beard, steps ashore. He laments his fate. (Aria: "The time has come and seven years have again elapsed") Because he once invoked Satan, the ghost captain is cursed to roam the sea forever without rest. An angel brought to him the terms of his redemption: every seven years the waves will cast him upon the shore; if he can find a wife who will be true to him he will be released from his curse.
Daland wakes up and meets the stranger. The stranger hears that Daland has an unmarried daughter named Senta, and he asks for her hand in marriage, offering a chest of treasure as a gift. Tempted by gold, Daland agrees to the marriage. The southwind blows and both vessels set sail for Daland's home.
A group of local girls are singing and spinning in Daland's house. (Spinning chorus: "Summ und brumm, du gutes Rädchen", transl. "Whir and whirl, good wheel") Senta, Daland's daughter, dreamily gazes upon a gorgeous picture of the legendary Dutchman that hangs from the wall; she desires to save him. Against the will of her nurse, she sings to her friends the story of the Dutchman (Ballad with the Leitmotiv), how Satan heard him swear and took him at his word. She vows to save him by her fidelity.
The huntsman Erik, Senta's former boyfriend, arrives and hears her; the girls depart, and the huntsman, who loves the maiden, warns her, telling her of his dream, in which Daland returned with a mysterious stranger, who carried her off to sea. She listens with delight, and Erik leaves in despair.
Daland arrives with the stranger; he and Senta stand gazing at each other in silence. Daland is scarcely noticed by his daughter, even when he presents his guest as her betrothed. In the following duet, which closes the act, Senta swears to be true till death.
Later in the evening, the local girls bring Daland's men food and drink. They invite the crew of the strange vessel to join in the merry-making, but in vain. The girls retire in wonder; ghostly forms appear at work upon the vessel The Flying Dutchman, and Daland's men retreat in fear.
Senta arrives, followed by Erik, who reproves her for deserting him, as she had formerly loved him and vowed constancy. When the stranger, who has been listening, hears these words, he is overwhelmed with despair, as he thinks he is now forever lost. He summons his men, tells Senta of the curse, and to the consternation of Daland and his crew declares that he is the "Flying Dutchman."
As the Dutchman sets sail, Senta throws herself into the sea, claiming that she will be faithful to him unto death. This is his salvation. The spectral ship disappears, and Senta and the Dutchman are seen ascending to heaven.