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Schedule - Deutsche Oper Berlin

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Der fliegende Holländer

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

Information on the piece

Romantic opera in three acts Music and text by Richard Wagner
World premiere: 2nd January 1843 in Dresden
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: 7th May 2017

ca 2 hrs 15 mins / no interval

In German language with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 13 years
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Kindly supported by Förderkreis der Deutschen Oper Berlin e. V.

About the performance

About the work
The Dutchman is a cursed man, an outsider, a driven individual. Richard Wagner came upon the character of the famous drifter via Heinrich Heine, who lent the Romantic material his typically ironic touch. Wagner’s interest was tweaked not by Heine’s packaging of the story, which relegated the Dutchman-based action to the margins, but by the tale of the enigmatic mariner, which led to him writing his first opera about the man’s quest for a woman who could offer him redemption. The Dutchman, restlessly plying the borderlands between life and death, encounters Senta, who appears equally ill-at-ease and rootless and yearns for a masculine character, the Dutchman, a figment of her imagination.

Written in 1841 and performed for the first time in Dresden in 1843, Wagner’s opera, following on the heels of RIENZI, a work in the grand opéra tradition, harks back to the German idea of Romantic opera as exemplified by Weber or Marschner. THE FLYING DUTSCHMAN also marks the beginning of a new and characteristically Wagnerian style, a new form of musical drama. This is the first of many works by Wagner to place the theme of redemption through love in death at the core of the piece.

About the production
Director and choreographer Christian Spuck, who will take over as Artistic Director of the Staatsballett Berlin in 2023, has given us a realm of dream images and fantastical visions, of obsession and projection – a world that has lost touch with reality. Most affected by this is Erik, the huntsman, who seems to be the only figure capable of true love. But he can no longer get through to a Senta who is wrapped up in her dreams. Erik is in the nightmarish situation of watching Senta increasingly cut herself off from him until she eventually commits suicide.

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