Blood-red sails, an undead crew and a cursed captain. The tale of the Flying Dutchman strikes fear into the heart of every seasoned sailor. Richard Wagner captures the spirit of the fabled Dutchman in a score as mysterious as it is monumental. Wagner's first opera on his life’s theme—redemption in death through love—is staged at the Komische Oper Berlin by Herbert Fritsch.
The Flying Dutchman is cursed to cruise the oceans forever. The terms of his redemption have been brought to him by and angel: Every seven years the waves will cast him upon the shore. If he finds a wife who will be true to him, he will be released from his curse. But his hope is fading, and he wishes for death. He meets Daland and his crew, who have found shelter from the raging storm in a bay. The Dutchman draws new strength, when Daland, deeply impressed by the riches aboard the Dutchman’s ghostly ship, invites the Dutchman to meet his daughter Senta. Herbert Fritsch, the enfant terrible of the directing world, stirs the pot with his highly musical and ultra-physical directing style, not only in the theatre, but also on opera stages (most recently with Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Komische Oper Berlin). With Wagner's early work The Flying Dutchman, in which folkloric choruses, dramatic ballads and the forces of nature roar through the orchestra, Fritsch takes on another classic, showing its close kinship with other ghostly pirate tales à Pirates of the Caribbean.
What’s special about it
The frightening experiences of a stormy sea voyage were in Wagner's bones when he composed this. If you listen very carefully, you can even hear the shouts of the sailors echoing off the rocks!