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back Content The stranger they call “Der fliegende Holländer” is different from the men who populate Senta’s provincial world: different from the sailor friends of her companions, but above all different from her down-to-earth fiancé Erik, who loves Senta but is not a sailor. An outsider like her, he is also surrounded by an excitingly dark doom: once, as the stories of her childhood tell us, the Dutchman cursed God; as punishment he must sail the oceans in his ghost ship until a truly loving woman releases him from his curse. Senta senses that she is destined to change the fate of the legendary sailor…

Richard Wagner’s opera “Der fliegende Holländer”, first performed in 1843, is more than just a maritime fairy tale: With the drama of the soul of a woman whose yearning for love breaks the narrow confines of society, the composer here already sets the narrative leitmotifs of later works such as “Tristan und Isolde”, “Parsifal” or “Der Ring des Nibelungen”.

Director Vasily Barkhatov is one of the shooting stars of his generation. After much acclaimed work for opera houses in Hanover, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stockholm and Vienna, among others, he is now directing at Deutsche Oper am Rhein for the first time. Synopsis Senta’s life is a drab and dull one. Home is not a comfortable place to be and her down-toearth fiancé Erik is hardly glamorous while her friends have accepted their own fates and treat her dreams with scorn. However, this only makes Senta more passionate to break away from the dismal predictability of her provincial existence. And she has a plan. Ever since she was a little girl, Senta has felt she has a fateful connection with the saga of the Flying Dutchman: the grim sailor who, the story goes, cursed God in the middle of a risky manoeuvre at sea and has been condemned to wander the seas ever since until the day when he is redeemed by a woman’s true love. Senta is convinced that she is destined to be that woman, whose steadfast love will change the Dutchman’s fate – and also bring meaning to her own life. Her relatives are concerned by Senta’s growing obsession with the tale of the “Flying Dutchman”. But however much they try, they are unable to deter Senta from devoting her life to rescuing the legendary sailor. When Senta suddenly believes she has seen the Flying Dutchman alive before her eyes, she senses: Now the time has come to achieve great things … // Fur­ther Re­com­men­da­tions