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The Flying Dutchman marks Wagner’s first real attempt at an opera that would break with convention by letting the story drive the music forward and moving from scene to scene without any pauses for applause. Do you think he succeeded? How would the opera feel different if the audience clapped after a standalone musical moment like Senta’s ballad in the second act? Many critics feel Senta is a silly sentimental figure who allows herself to be swept up in fantasy, while some consider her a strong and capable individual. Do you think she is foolish or brave? Or both?

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Working Rehearsal

Deborah F. Rutter President Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education

Michael L. Mael Executive Director

Richard Wagner’s

The Flying Dutchman Directed by Stephen Lawless

Conducted by Philippe Auguin

Francesca Zambello Artistic Director General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of WNO’s 2014-2015 Season.

WNO acknowledges the longstanding generosity of Life Chairman Mrs. Eugene B. Casey. Additional support for The Flying Dutchman is provided by the Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Senta is captivated by the painting of the Flying Dutchman

The theme of a lone sufferer in search of love can be seen throughout movies, theater, and literature. What other Dutchman-type figures can you think of?

WHAT TO WATCH AND LISTEN FOR… n

David M. Rubenstein Chairman

How the melody that identifies the Dutchman (first heard in the booming sounds of the overture) recurs throughout the opera when the Dutchman is mentioned by other characters. How the composer links the music with the drama by having the orchestra mimic the scenes onstage (think trembling strings for thunder or wavy melodies for the whirl of the spinning wheels). The ways in which the music, lighting, and costumes for the Norwegian villagers differ from those used for the Dutchman’s crew. How can you tell these people come from separate worlds without hearing them sing a single word?

The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is made possible through the generous support of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Additional funding for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is provided by Judy and Billy Cox. Events for Students is made possible by Kaplan, Inc.; Mr. James V. Kimsey; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and the U.S. Department of Education. Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program. Education and related artistic programs are made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

“The time has come.” Every seven years, a cursed ship led by a man known as “the Flying Dutchman” is allowed to wash ashore—and now it has lowered anchor once again. The dark magic of the ship may be strong, but the tormented captain searches for a true love that’s even stronger.

www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. Learn more about Education at the Kennedy Center at www.kennedy-center.org/education

Major support for WNO is provided by Jacqueline Badger Mars.

The contents of this Cuesheet have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education but do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of WNO.

© 2015 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Performance Guide

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Cuesheet

washington national opera

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT…


About Wagner’s

The Flying Dutchman Richard Wagner’s opera, The Flying Dutchman, (or Der Fliegende Holländer, pronounced dehr FLEE-gehn-duh HOHLend-uhr), was based in part on a famous fable and the writings of poet Heinrich Heine, as well as the composer’s own sea voyages. Trapped along the coast of Norway during a rocky trip, Wagner felt the setting would be a perfect backdrop for a tragic love story. After the journey, the composer penned the lyrics and later framed his passionate score around the drama. The result is one of opera’s bestloved tales of horror on the high seas.

The Story A sea captain named Daland (DAHlant) and his crew are thrown off course by a dangerous storm. As they seek shelter, they discover they are only a few miles from their Norwegian village. The crew rests while the steersman, or Steuermann (STOY-uhr-man), in German, keeps watch at the helm, but the Steuermann dozes just as another mysterious ship arrives. The eerie ship’s captain steps ashore. He is the doomed Dutchman (Holländer) of ocean legend—fated to sail forever with his crew unless he can win the love of a loyal woman. Alone on stage, the Dutchman laments that his ghostly ship, inhabited by spirit crew, is only allowed to anchor once every seven

years so that he may search for a bride. When Daland reappears, the Dutchman gives his name simply as “Holländer” and asks if he may accompany the Norwegian captain to his home. When the Dutchman learns of Daland’s lovely daughter, he abruptly asks to marry her. Dazzled by the Dutchman’s obvious wealth, Daland consents.

Main Characters Daland, a Norwegian ship captain Steuermann, a crewman who steers Daland’s ship Der Fliegende Holländer, captain of a mysterious ship Senta, Daland’s daughter Erik, a huntsman and Senta’s suitor In the village, local women sing as they work at their spinning wheels. Daland’s daughter, Senta (ZEHN-tah), however, is too absorbed in a painting of a lone Dutch sailor to pay attention. When the girls tease her about her daydreaming, Senta responds by singing a song inspired by the portrait: a ballad about the famous Flying Dutchman. She explains that the tragic seaman once faced a treacherous storm and swore he would prevail against the wind and waves, even if it took forever—a dangerous vow that Satan himself could hear, and so the devil took the Dutchman at his word.

Saddened that the Dutchman and his mates have since been condemned to sail the ocean without rest, Senta expresses her obsession with the Dutchman’s tale and tells of her hope to be the faithful woman who sets the Dutchman free. Just then, Senta’s current suitor, Erik (EH-rihk), bursts in. He begs Senta to accept his love and consider him as a husband. Senta tries to reassure Erik of her affection towards him, but Erik, haunted by a recent dream of Senta in the arms of a frightful sea captain, is unconvinced. The Dutchman suddenly enters, startling Senta. Daland introduces the Dutchman to his daughter, saying the two shall be married if both are agreeable. The Dutchman tells of his years of suffering and his desire to be released from a mysterious curse. Senta, spurred on by romantic thoughts of the Flying Dutchman, is intensely moved. They agree to marry. The villagers and sailors gather to celebrate Daland’s return. Yet, when the crew of the Dutchman’s vessel is asked to join in the fun, a storm breaks and the ghostlike sailors lift their voices in a spooky chorus. Senta enters, pursued by Erik, who reminds her of their past promises to one another. The Dutchman overhears, misunderstands the situation, and, heartbroken, accuses Senta of being untrue. Can Senta prove her faithfulness to the Dutchman before the curse calls him back to his ship? Will fate unite the lovers forever as Erik’s dream foretold?

About Richard Wagner Born in Leipzig, Germany, Richard Wagner (1813–1883) revolutionized opera in a series of epic works based on Germanic legends, for which he wrote both the words and the score. The composer was intent on drawing his audiences into his stories and designed his operas to feature seamless hours of music with no typical arias, or songs, and no breaks for applause. He also employed unusually large orchestras and demanded a new kind of powerful singing technique. Today, many of his operas, including the celebrated Ring Cycle, are performed throughout the world.

About Washington National Opera Originally founded in 1956, Washington National Opera (WNO) ranks as one of today’s largest American opera companies. As an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, WNO presents several operas each year at the Kennedy Center Opera House and performs throughout the city, offering training and enrichment programs yearround. In the past decade, WNO has reached worldwide audiences through international broadcasts. To learn more about opera visit www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge and click the tag “opera” Cover photo by Cory Weaver, all other photos by Karin Cooper/Washington National Opera


About Wagner’s

The Flying Dutchman Richard Wagner’s opera, The Flying Dutchman, (or Der Fliegende Holländer, pronounced dehr FLEE-gehn-duh HOHLend-uhr), was based in part on a famous fable and the writings of poet Heinrich Heine, as well as the composer’s own sea voyages. Trapped along the coast of Norway during a rocky trip, Wagner felt the setting would be a perfect backdrop for a tragic love story. After the journey, the composer penned the lyrics and later framed his passionate score around the drama. The result is one of opera’s bestloved tales of horror on the high seas.

The Story A sea captain named Daland (DAHlant) and his crew are thrown off course by a dangerous storm. As they seek shelter, they discover they are only a few miles from their Norwegian village. The crew rests while the steersman, or Steuermann (STOY-uhr-man), in German, keeps watch at the helm, but the Steuermann dozes just as another mysterious ship arrives. The eerie ship’s captain steps ashore. He is the doomed Dutchman (Holländer) of ocean legend—fated to sail forever with his crew unless he can win the love of a loyal woman. Alone on stage, the Dutchman laments that his ghostly ship, inhabited by spirit crew, is only allowed to anchor once every seven

years so that he may search for a bride. When Daland reappears, the Dutchman gives his name simply as “Holländer” and asks if he may accompany the Norwegian captain to his home. When the Dutchman learns of Daland’s lovely daughter, he abruptly asks to marry her. Dazzled by the Dutchman’s obvious wealth, Daland consents.

Main Characters Daland, a Norwegian ship captain Steuermann, a crewman who steers Daland’s ship Der Fliegende Holländer, captain of a mysterious ship Senta, Daland’s daughter Erik, a huntsman and Senta’s suitor In the village, local women sing as they work at their spinning wheels. Daland’s daughter, Senta (ZEHN-tah), however, is too absorbed in a painting of a lone Dutch sailor to pay attention. When the girls tease her about her daydreaming, Senta responds by singing a song inspired by the portrait: a ballad about the famous Flying Dutchman. She explains that the tragic seaman once faced a treacherous storm and swore he would prevail against the wind and waves, even if it took forever—a dangerous vow that Satan himself could hear, and so the devil took the Dutchman at his word.

Saddened that the Dutchman and his mates have since been condemned to sail the ocean without rest, Senta expresses her obsession with the Dutchman’s tale and tells of her hope to be the faithful woman who sets the Dutchman free. Just then, Senta’s current suitor, Erik (EH-rihk), bursts in. He begs Senta to accept his love and consider him as a husband. Senta tries to reassure Erik of her affection towards him, but Erik, haunted by a recent dream of Senta in the arms of a frightful sea captain, is unconvinced. The Dutchman suddenly enters, startling Senta. Daland introduces the Dutchman to his daughter, saying the two shall be married if both are agreeable. The Dutchman tells of his years of suffering and his desire to be released from a mysterious curse. Senta, spurred on by romantic thoughts of the Flying Dutchman, is intensely moved. They agree to marry. The villagers and sailors gather to celebrate Daland’s return. Yet, when the crew of the Dutchman’s vessel is asked to join in the fun, a storm breaks and the ghostlike sailors lift their voices in a spooky chorus. Senta enters, pursued by Erik, who reminds her of their past promises to one another. The Dutchman overhears, misunderstands the situation, and, heartbroken, accuses Senta of being untrue. Can Senta prove her faithfulness to the Dutchman before the curse calls him back to his ship? Will fate unite the lovers forever as Erik’s dream foretold?

About Richard Wagner Born in Leipzig, Germany, Richard Wagner (1813–1883) revolutionized opera in a series of epic works based on Germanic legends, for which he wrote both the words and the score. The composer was intent on drawing his audiences into his stories and designed his operas to feature seamless hours of music with no typical arias, or songs, and no breaks for applause. He also employed unusually large orchestras and demanded a new kind of powerful singing technique. Today, many of his operas, including the celebrated Ring Cycle, are performed throughout the world.

About Washington National Opera Originally founded in 1956, Washington National Opera (WNO) ranks as one of today’s largest American opera companies. As an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, WNO presents several operas each year at the Kennedy Center Opera House and performs throughout the city, offering training and enrichment programs yearround. In the past decade, WNO has reached worldwide audiences through international broadcasts. To learn more about opera visit www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge and click the tag “opera” Cover photo by Cory Weaver, all other photos by Karin Cooper/Washington National Opera


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The Flying Dutchman marks Wagner’s first real attempt at an opera that would break with convention by letting the story drive the music forward and moving from scene to scene without any pauses for applause. Do you think he succeeded? How would the opera feel different if the audience clapped after a standalone musical moment like Senta’s ballad in the second act? Many critics feel Senta is a silly sentimental figure who allows herself to be swept up in fantasy, while some consider her a strong and capable individual. Do you think she is foolish or brave? Or both?

n

n

Working Rehearsal

Deborah F. Rutter President Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education

Michael L. Mael Executive Director

Richard Wagner’s

The Flying Dutchman Directed by Stephen Lawless

Conducted by Philippe Auguin

Francesca Zambello Artistic Director General Dynamics is the proud sponsor of WNO’s 2014-2015 Season.

WNO acknowledges the longstanding generosity of Life Chairman Mrs. Eugene B. Casey. Additional support for The Flying Dutchman is provided by the Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Senta is captivated by the painting of the Flying Dutchman

The theme of a lone sufferer in search of love can be seen throughout movies, theater, and literature. What other Dutchman-type figures can you think of?

WHAT TO WATCH AND LISTEN FOR… n

David M. Rubenstein Chairman

How the melody that identifies the Dutchman (first heard in the booming sounds of the overture) recurs throughout the opera when the Dutchman is mentioned by other characters. How the composer links the music with the drama by having the orchestra mimic the scenes onstage (think trembling strings for thunder or wavy melodies for the whirl of the spinning wheels). The ways in which the music, lighting, and costumes for the Norwegian villagers differ from those used for the Dutchman’s crew. How can you tell these people come from separate worlds without hearing them sing a single word?

The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is made possible through the generous support of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. Additional funding for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program is provided by Judy and Billy Cox. Events for Students is made possible by Kaplan, Inc.; Mr. James V. Kimsey; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and the U.S. Department of Education. Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program. Education and related artistic programs are made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

“The time has come.” Every seven years, a cursed ship led by a man known as “the Flying Dutchman” is allowed to wash ashore—and now it has lowered anchor once again. The dark magic of the ship may be strong, but the tormented captain searches for a true love that’s even stronger.

www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. Learn more about Education at the Kennedy Center at www.kennedy-center.org/education

Major support for WNO is provided by Jacqueline Badger Mars.

The contents of this Cuesheet have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education but do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of WNO.

© 2015 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Performance Guide

n

Cuesheet

washington national opera

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT…

Profile for Kennedy Center Education Digital Learning

Washington National Opera Working Rehearsal: The Flying Dutchman  

Wagner’s retelling of a nautical legend is one of opera’s best-loved tales of horror on the high seas. The Flying Dutchman—the cursed captai...

Washington National Opera Working Rehearsal: The Flying Dutchman  

Wagner’s retelling of a nautical legend is one of opera’s best-loved tales of horror on the high seas. The Flying Dutchman—the cursed captai...

Profile for artsedge