New Production of Richard Wagner's "Der fliegende Holländer" on February 26, 2006

Only a month after the first grand première of the new year, and a scant two weeks after the conclusion of the Mozart Festival Weeks, the Bavarian State Opera will be celebrating its next major event: the première of Richard Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer on February 26, 2006.

Richard Wagner became acquainted with the saga of the “Flying Dutchman” from a short story by Heinrich Heine, and then sketched out a draft for a French opera libretto. Although his hopes for a commission from the Paris Grand Opéra came to naught, Wagner still wrote the libretto and score in no time, and it proved a bold venture into the realm of opera as music drama.

The Flying Dutchman is cursed to sail his phantom ship restlessly across the seven seas until he is redeemed by the love of a loyal woman. Every seven years the accursed mariner comes on land to find salvation. Daland’s daughter Senta wants to save the Dutchman with her love sacrifice. Her fiancé Erik struggles in vain to keep her from implementing her plan. When the Dutchman doubts Senta’s loyalty, she hurls herself off a rocky cliff into the sea. The phantom ship disappears beneath the waves, and, as if in a vision, the souls of the Dutchman and Senta ascend, redeemed, into heaven.

Following Parsifal and Tristan und Isolde, Der fliegende Holländer is the third Wagnerian work Peter Konwitschny will be staging for the Bavarian State Opera. The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow had suggested a co-production, and so Peter Konwitschny created his concept here in Munich with his designer Johannes Leiacker: the settings, properties, costumes and all the other appurtenances of the production were likewise produced in Munich and shipped to Moscow, accompanied by the production staff. Peter Konwitschny’s production was enthusiastically received in the Russian capital in June of last year.

The musical direction for the Munich performances will be in the hands of Adam Fischer. At the Nationaltheater, a cast of blue-ribbon Wagnerian artists will be on stage. The title role will be sung by Finnish baritone Juha Uusitalo, who is already well-known to Munich audiences from his performances of Gunther in Götterdämmerung. Kurt Moll will be singing Daland and Stephen Gould will portray Erik. Anja Kampe will be making her début in the role of Senta along with her début at the Bavarian State Opera.

Première: February 26, 2006, 7:30 P.M., Nationaltheater
Further performances: 3/2 (7:30 P.M.), 3/5 (6:00 P.M.) 3/8 (7:30 P.M.), 3/12 (6:00 P.M.) and 3/16 (7:30 P.M.)

Introductory matinée on February 12, 2006, 11:00 A.M. in All Saints’ Court Church back