A New Production of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer Opens Tonight Directed by François Girard and Conducted by Valery Gergiev

  • 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
Der Fliegende Holländer

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.

RICHARD WAGNER
Der Fliegende Holländer

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.

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