- Evgeny Nikitin stars in the title role and Anja Kampe makes a notable Met debut as Senta
- François Girard returns to the Met for the first time since his acclaimed production of Wagner’s Parsifal
- Der Fliegende Holländer will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world on Saturday, March 14, as part of The Met: Live in HD series
- A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera; Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam; The Abu Dhabi Festival; and Opéra de Québec
The Metropolitan Opera presents a new production of Wagner’s early masterpiece Der Fliegende Holländer tonight, with performances continuing through March 27. Valery Gergiev conducts the new staging from director François Girard, whose interpretation is centered on the young woman Senta’s obsession with a portrait of the Dutchman.
Girard, whose revelatory 2013 take on Parsifal set the recent Met standard for Wagner stagings, now unveils a spellbinding new vision of the composer’s tale of a cursed sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean for eternity. With sweeping sets by John Macfarlane, Girard’s new production turns the Met stage into a rich, layered tableau reminiscent of a vast oil painting. Valery Gergiev conducts a brilliant cast led by bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin as the Dutchman, with German soprano Anja Kampe making her anticipated Met debut as the devoted Senta, whose selfless love is what the Dutchman seeks. Bass Franz-Josef Selig is her father, Daland, and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov is her deserted former lover, Erik. Mihoko Fujimura makes her Met debut as Senta’s nurse, Mary, and David Portillo sings the role of the Steersman.
The creative team includes set designer John Macfarlane, costume designer Moritz Junge, lighting designer David Finn, projection designer Peter Flaherty, choreographer Carolyn Choa, and dramaturg Serge Lamothe.
The performances on March 24 and 27 will be conducted by Patrick Furrer, making his debut. At the performance on March 24, the role of the Steersman will be performed by Alok Kumar.
Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was the controversial creator of music-drama masterpieces that stand at the center of today’s operatic repertory. An artistic revolutionary who reimagined every supposition about theater, Wagner insisted that words and music were equals in his works. This approach led to the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” combining music, poetry, architecture, painting, and other disciplines, a notion that has had an impact on creative fields far beyond opera.
The score of Der Fliegende Holländer is an extraordinary combination of operatic lyricism, dramatic insight, and magnificent effects. At the time it was written, Wagner had not yet developed his theories of music-drama, which would form the basis for his later works. Many of the features of conventional opera (recitatives, arias, ensembles), therefore, can still be found, but the way Wagner integrates them into the fabric of the score clearly foreshadows his later technique of a continuous musical flow.
World premiere: Dresden, Court Opera, 1843. Der Fliegende Holländer is the earliest of Wagner’s operatic creations to remain in the repertory. The two lead roles represent archetypes to which the composer would return, in one form or another, in most of his later works: the “otherworldly stranger” and the woman who sacrifices herself for his salvation. The work’s unearthly ambience is impressive but only one aspect of it: Both the world of nature and of the supernatural are magnificently evoked in the score.
Evgeny Nikitin stars in the title role of the cursed sea captain doomed to sail the open ocean for eternity. Anja Kampe makes her Met debut as Senta, whose selfless love the Dutchman seeks for redemption. Bass Franz-Josef Selig is Senta’s father, Daland, and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov is her former lover, Erik.
Der Fliegende Holländer Worldwide Broadcasts in Cinema, on Radio, and Online
The performance of Der Fliegende Holländer on Saturday, March 14, will be transmitted live to more than 2,200 movie theaters in more than 70 countries as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. The transmission will be hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, who stars in Massenet’s Manon and Verdi’s La Traviata this season at the Met.
Tonight’s and the March 14 performances of Der Fliegende Holländer will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius XM Channel 75. The March 14 performance will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, and the March 2 performance will also be streamed live on the Met’s web site, www.metopera.org.
Der Fliegende Holländer Artist Biographies
German soprano Anja Kampe makes her Met debut as Senta, a role she has previously sung at Bavarian State Opera, Dallas Opera, and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. She has been seen as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at the Bayreuth Festival, Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, Minnie in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West at Hamburg State Opera, Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio in Munich, and Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal at Vienna State Opera and Paris Opera. This season, she sings Leonore at Opernhaus Zürich, Sieglinde in Berlin, and Kundry and Minnie in Munich.
Japanese mezzo-soprano Mihoko Fujimura makes her Met debut as Mary. She has previously been seen as the Nurse in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, as well as Fricka in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, and the Beijing Music Festival. She made her Bayreuth Festival debut in 2002 as Fricka in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, followed by performances as Waltraute and Erda, as well as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde and Kundry in Parsifal. This season, she also appears as the alto soloist in Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Russian tenor Sergey Skorokhodov makes his Met role debut as Erik, which he has previously sung at the Mariinsky Theatre and Bergen National Opera. He made his Met debut in Shostakovich’s The Nose in 2010 and reprised his performance in that opera in 2013. Recent performances include Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot at the Canadian Opera Company, Andrey Khovansky in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina at La Scala, and Zinoviy Borisovich in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at Bavarian State Opera. He has sung extensively at the Mariinsky Theatre in the title role of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata, the title role of Wagner’s Lohengrin, Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth, and the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto. This season, he also sings Andrey Khovansky at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and Foresto in Verdi’s Attila at the Baden-Baden Festival.
American tenor David Portillo makes his role debut as the Steersman. He made his Met debut in 2015 as Count Almaviva in the Met’s holiday presentation of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, followed by performances as Eduardo in the Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, Chevalier de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Camille de Rosillon in Lehár’s The Merry Widow, and Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio. Other recent performances include Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo at Teatro Real in Madrid, Pasquale in Haydn’s Orlando Palladino at Bavarian State Opera, and Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Dallas Opera. Also at the Met this season, he sings Tamino in the holiday production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
Bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin has previously sung the Dutchman at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre and in Baden-Baden, Madrid, Toronto, Paris, Leipzig and Tokyo. At the Met, he performed in this season’s New Year’s Eve Gala and has sung Gunther in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, Klingsor in Wagner’s Parsifal, Kurwenal in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Rangoni in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Orest in Strauss’s Elektra, Pogner in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème, Fasolt in Wagner’s Das Rheingold, and Dolokhov in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, among other roles. At the Mariinsky, his roles have included Wotan in Wagner’s Ring cycle, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca, Jochanaan in Strauss’s Salome, Philip II in Verdi’s Don Carlo, the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Ruslan in Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila, among many others.
German bass Franz-Josef Selig reprises the role of Daland, which he sang at the Met in 2017. His past credits with the company include Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Fasolt in Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Recent performances include King Marke in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at La Monnaie, Padre Guardiano in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino at Oper Frankfurt, Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, and Arkel in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at Paris Opera. This season he also sings King Marke at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Russian conductor Valery Gergiev has conducted more than 160 Met performances in a varied repertory, including the company premieres of Prokofiev’s The Gambler and War and Peace, Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa, and Shostakovich’s The Nose. He made his Met debut in 1994 leading a new production of Verdi’s Otello and has also conducted new production premieres of the double bill of Iolanta and Bluebeard’s Castle, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, Strauss’s Salome, and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. Gergiev is the general director of the Mariinsky Theatre and the music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Canadian director François Girard made his Met debut in 2013 staging Wagner’s Parsifal. His other opera productions include Kaija Saariaho’s Emilie at Lyon Opera and Dutch National Opera; a double bill of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms at the Edinburgh Festival and the Canadian Opera Company; a double bill of Brecht and Weill’s The Lindbergh Flight and The Seven Deadly Sins in Lyon and Edinburgh; and Wagner’s Siegfried as part of a multi-director staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Canadian Opera Company. He has also written and directed feature films, including The Song of Names, Cargo, Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Silk, and the Academy Award–winning historical drama The Red Violin.
Scottish set designer John Macfarlane has four productions with the Met this season which will all be seen as part of The Met: Live in HD series: new productions of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer and Handel’s Agrippina as well as revivals of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Puccini’s Tosca. He made his Met debut in 2007 with designs for Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. He has designed for dance in such venues as the Royal Ballet, Danish Royal Ballet, and Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as opera for Dutch National Opera, Scottish Opera, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Glyndebourne Festival, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. A skilled painter, his work has been seen in many prestigious public collections, including the National Museum of Wales, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Albertina in Vienna, and the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.
German costume designer Moritz Junge has previously designed costumes for Met productions of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, as well as Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, and Bellini’s Norma. His work with other opera companies includes the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Hannover State Opera, English National Opera, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His work spans from designing costumes for the National Theatre (U.K.), Theater Aachen, and Theater Oberhausen to costumes for the Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet.
American lighting designer David Finn made his Met debut in 2013 with François Girard’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal, followed by a new production of Puccini’s Tosca, which will be revived later this season and seen as part of The Met: Live in HD series. He has designed lighting for numerous opera productions including the Canadian Opera Company’s Ring cycle and productions of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer and Tannhauser, as well as Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Schoenberg’s Erwartung, at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He began his career working for puppeteer Burr Tillstrom on the television show Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, and has also designed extensively in dance for choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, James Kudelka, Ashley Page, Dana Reitz, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Helgi Tomasson and Sasha Waltz. For film, he designed for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence.
American projection designer Peter Flaherty previously designed François Girard’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Met. His video designs include Sondheim on Sondheim for the Roundabout Theatre Company on Broadway, which was later adapted for HBO’s documentary Six by Sondheim; Girard’s production of The Flight of Lindbergh and The Seven Deadly Sins at Lyon Opera and the Edinburgh Festival; and Chen Shi-Zheng’s My Life as a Fairy Tale at Lincoln Center Festival. His other work includes directing The Dial, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019; directing The Surrogate, a virtual-reality narrative; and a large-scale video installation, Pass Back a Revolver, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.
Chinese choreographer Carolyn Choa adds a new production to her Met repertory with Der Fliegende Holländer. She made her company debut in 2005 as the choreographer and associate director for Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which is revived this season, for which she now is director and choreographer. She also served as choreographer for François Girard’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal. Her other work includes the films The Talented Mr. Ripley and The English Patient, the television series The Storytellers and The Storyteller: Greek Myths, and the opera The Pilgrim’s Progress by Vaughan Williams for English National Opera.
Canadian dramaturg Serge Lamothe previously worked on François Girard’s production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the Met. He collaborated with Girard on Kaija Saariaho’s Emilie at Lyon Opera and has also worked on stage adaptations of Alan Ayckbourn’s Intimate Exchanges, Kafka’s The Trial, Inoue’s The Hunting Gun, Mishima’s The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. An accomplished writer, he has published five novels: Tarquimpol, Les Baldwins, L’Ange au berceau, La Tierce Personne, and La Longue Portée.
Der Fliegende Holländer
Music by Richard Wagner/Libretto by Richard Wagner
- Monday, March 2, at 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, March 6, at 8:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 10, at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 14, at 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 18, at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 21, at 8:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m.
|Conductor||Valery Gergiev (Mar. 2, 6, 10, 14mat, 18, 21)|
|Patrick Furrer* (Mar. 24, 27)|
|Set Designer||John Macfarlane|
|Costume Designer||Moritz Junge|
|Lighting Designer||David Finn|
|Projection Designer||Peter Flaherty|
|Senta||Anja Kampe* *Met debut|
|Mary||Mihoko Fujimura* *Met debut|
|Steersman||David Portillo (Mar. 2, 6, 10, 14mat, 18, 21, 27)|
|Alok Kumar (Mar. 24)|
For prices and ticket information, please call (212) 362-6000 or visit www.metopera.org. Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling (212) 501-3410 or visiting www.metopera.org/groups.