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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Munich Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Both Return to Carnegie Hall with Two Concerts Each in Fall 2019

Music Director Valery Gergiev Leads Munich Philharmonic October 25–26 with Pianist Behzod Abduraimov and Violinist Leonidas Kavakos

Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons Leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra November 8–9 with Soprano Diana Damrau and Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder

Concerts on October 26 and November 8 to Be Heard Nationwide on Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR 105.9 FM and WQXR.org

Carnegie Hall welcomes back two orchestras from the culturally rich city of Munich, Germany: Munich Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (BRSO) this fall. On Friday, October 25 at 8:00 p.m., Music Director Valery Gergiev leads the Munich Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1. with Behzod Abduraimov and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. The following evening,Saturday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m. they return with Leonidas Kavakos playing Brahms’s Violin Concerto. Also on the program is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Jörg Widmann’s Con brio.

Just two weeks later, onFriday, November 8 at 8:00 p.m., Chief Conductor Mariss Jansons leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra on a program that includes R. Strauss’s Four Symphonic Interludes from Intermezzo, Four Last Songs with soprano Diana Damrau, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. They return the following evening onSaturday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m. with pianist Rudolf Buchbinder playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488; Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, and Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe.

Both the Munich Philharmonic concert October 26 and the BRSO concert on November 8 are part of the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and online at wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. Produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and co-hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and Clemency Burton-Hill, Carnegie Hall Live broadcasts include behind-the-scenes access to the artists and broadcast team, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.

Behzod Abduraimov’s performances combine an immense depth of musicality with phenomenal technique and breath-taking delicacy. He works with leading orchestras worldwide including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra and Münchner Philharmoniker, and prestigious conductors including Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Manfred Honeck, Lorenzo Viotti, Vasily Petrenko, James Gaffigan, Jakub Hruša and Vladimir Jurowski.

Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1990, Behzod began to play the piano at the age of five as a pupil of Tamara Popovich at Uspensky State Central Lyceum in Tashkent. He is an alumnus of Park University’s International Center for Music where he studied with Stanislav Ioudenitch, and now serves as the ICM’s artist-in-residence.

Photo of Valery Gergiev by Alexandra Shapunov; Behzod Abduraimov by Nissor Abdourazakov; Leonidas Kavakos by Marco Borggreve; Mariss Jansons by Peter Meisel; Diana Damrau by Jiyang Chen; and Rudolf Buchbinder by Marco Borggreve.

Leonidas Kavakos is recognized as a violinist and artist of rare quality, known for the integrity of his playing and for his virtuosity and superb musicianship. By age 21, Mr. Kavakos had won three major competitions: the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition (1985), the Paganini Competition (1988), and the Naumburg International Piano Competition (1988). This success led to his recording the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903–1904), the first recording of the work in history, which won the Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award in 1991. Mr. Kavakos was awarded the Gramophone Artist of the Year Award in 2014, and he was the winner of Denmark’s Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2017.

Mr. Kavakos recently signed an exclusive contract with Sony Classical, for whom he has previously recorded Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Mozart’s violin concertos, play-conducting with Camerata Salzburg. In the 2019–2020 season, in addition to concerts with major orchestras in Europe and the United States, Leonidas Kavakos will once again join Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax for three programs in Carnegie Hall comprising Beethoven trios and sonatas. He will undertake two Asian tours, first as soloist with the Singapore Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic and in recital in the NCPA Beijing, and then in the spring he performs with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, prior to playing Beethoven Sonata Cycles in Shanghai and Guangzhou with Enrico Pace. Mr. Kavakos plays the “Willemotte” Stradivarius violin of 1734.

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