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Seattle Opera.

The Flying Dutchman

Stormy. Captivating. Legendary.

May 7-21, 2016

Overview

By Richard Wagner

MYTHIC ROMANCE. EPIC MUSIC. The Dutchman, a ghostly sailor condemned to wander for all eternity, sets foot on land every seven years to search for a bride who can bring him peace. In a small Norwegian fishing village he encounters Senta, a young woman obsessed with his legend. Can the power of true love break the curse and end his suffering?

More than 125 artists from the Seattle Opera Chorus and Seattle Symphony Orchestra perform alongside the principal singers in this movie-length production. Wagner's sweeping orchestrations, reminiscent of a blockbuster film score, evoke the power of the sea.

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Screenshot from The Flying Dutchman Preview.

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Julie Makerov as Senta and Evgeny Nikitin at The Dutchman in the Canadian Opera Company's production of The Flying Dutchman. Copyright Gary Beechey.

In German with English subtitles | at McCaw Hall 
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes (no intermission) why?
Evenings at 7:30 PM. Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM.

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Synopsis

Sandwikke, a Norwegian fishing village

Scene I
On Daland's ship

Daland, a sea-captain, drops anchor near his home harbor, and orders the Steersman to keep watch. The tired man falls asleep and fails to see the arrival of the Dutchman’s ship, which anchors beside Daland’s vessel. When Daland discovers the strange ship, he calls to its captain, who identifies himself simply as “a Dutchman” and offers a rich reward for one night’s lodging. He then offers his fabulous treasure as a dowry for the hand of Daland’s daughter, and Daland eagerly agrees.

Scene II
Daland's Home

Daland’s daughter, Senta, stares at a portrait of the Flying Dutchman while the women around her sing as they work. Senta then sings a song about the Dutchman, a sea-captain condemned by Satan to sail for eternity. He is permitted to set foot on land only once every seven years, to search for salvation in a woman’s love. Mary, Senta’s companion, scolds Senta for her obsession with this legend, and tells her that when her father returns, she will ask him to remove from the house the picture of the Dutchman. Erik, Senta’s suitor, enters to say that he has seen her father’s ship sailing towards harbor. He presses her to ask her father to give him her hand. Senta, however, continues to speak of her fascination with the Flying Dutchman, and Erik tells her of a dream in which he saw her embrace a strange seaman. In despair, Erik leaves.

Daland then enters with his guest, and Senta is mesmerized by the Dutchman, whom she recognizes from the portrait. Daland explains that the stranger has asked for her hand in marriage and leaves the couple together. Senta agrees to marry the Dutchman.

Scene III
By the Dutchman's ship

During a celebration, sailors and their women are terrified by an encounter with the Dutchman’s ghostly crew. Erik and Senta enter. Erik is angry, as he has learned that Senta has accepted the hand of the Dutchman. As Erik reminds Senta of her promise to love him, the Dutchman enters and overhears the exchange. Convinced that Senta is unfaithful to him, the Dutchman tells her that he is leaving and prepares to set sail. Proclaiming her eternal faithfulness to the Dutchman, Senta dies.

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The Flying Dutchman - Dig Deeper

What are the origins of the Flying Dutchman legend? Why is Wagner such a controversial figure? And what's the connection between The Flying Dutchman, the Brothers Grimm, and Frankenstein? Learn about the music and historical context of this opera in our in-depth, multimedia Spotlight Guide.

VIEW SPOTLIGHT GUIDE

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Cast

Greer Grimsley

The Dutchman

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Telramund, Lohengrin (’94) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Scarpia, Tosca (’15); Wotan, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’05, ’09,’13); Don Pizarro, Fidelio (’12)

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Recently: Jochanaan, Salome (New National Theatre Tokyo); Scarpia, Tosca (San Diego Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Ravinia Festival)
Upcoming: Sweeney Todd, Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Opera); Wotan, Die Walküre (New National Theatre Tokyo); Jochanaan, Salome (The Metropolitan Opera)

Last updated: April 2016

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Greer Grimsley

The Dutchman

May 7, 11, 14, 18, & 21

Alfred Walker

The Dutchman

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Orest, Elektra (’08)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Lindorf/Coppélius/Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto, The Tales of Hoffmann (’14)

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Recently: Amonasro, Aida (Utah Opera); The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and Théâtre de Caen)
Upcoming: The Dutchman, The Flying Dutchman (Oper Köln); Don Pizarro, Fidelio (Bel Canto at Caramoor); Méphistophélès, La Damnation de Faust (Teatro Municipal de Santiago)

Last updated: April 2016

Alfred Walker

The Dutchman

May 8 & 20

Rebecca Nash

Senta

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Senta, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Recently:  Empress, Die Frau ohne Schatten (Ópera de Bellas Artes, Festival del Centro Histórico de México); Judit, Bluebeard’s Castle (Virginia Symphony Orchestra); Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (West Green House Opera)
Upcoming: Amelia, Un ballo in maschera (West Green House Opera)

Last updated: March 2016

Rebecca Nash

Senta

Seattle Opera Debut
May 7, 11, 18 & 21

Wendy Bryn Harmer

Senta

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Senta, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Freia/Gerhilde/Gutrune, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)

Hometown: Roseville, CA
Recently: Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (Palm Beach Opera); Leonore, Fidelio (Opera Omaha)
Upcoming:  Soprano Soloist, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (San Francisco Symphony); First Lady, The Magic Flute (The Metropolitan Opera); Abigail Adams, My Dearest Friend (NY Symphony Space)

Last updated: April 2016

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Wendy Bryn Harmer

Senta

May 8, 14 & 20

Nikolai Schukoff

Erik

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Erik, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Graz, Austria
Recently: Don José, Carmen (Teatro del Liceu); Max, Der Freischütz (Théâtre des Champs Elysées); Eléazar, La Juive (Opéra de Lyon)
Upcoming: Otello, Otello (recording for Pentatone); Erik, The Flying Dutchman (Teatro Real); Parsifal, Parsifal (Opera of Helsinki)

Last updated: April 2016

Nikolai Schukoff

Erik

Seattle Opera Debut
May 7, 11, 14, 18 & 21

David Danholt

Erik

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Erik, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut
Winner of a First Prize at the 2014 Seattle Opera International Wagner Competition

Hometown: Funen, Denmark
Recently: Walter, The Passenger (Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre)
Upcoming: Florestan, Leonore (Buxton Festival); Baron Lummer, Intermezzo (Concertgebouw); The Prince, Rusalka (Arizona Opera)

Last updated: April 2016

David Danholt

Erik

Seattle Opera Debut
May 8 & 20

Luretta Bybee

Mary

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Mary, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: War and Peace, 1990
Previously at Seattle Opera: Schwertleite and First Norn, Der Ring des Nibelungen 2013; Amanda, Amelia 2010; Klytämnestra, Elektra, 2008

Hometown: Midland, TX
Recently: Mary, The Flying Dutchman (Opera Carolina); Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd (Vancouver Opera); Madame de la Haultiere, Cendrillon (New Orleans Opera)
Upcoming: Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Opera and New Orleans Opera); Dame Marthe, Faust (Houston Grand Opera)

Last updated: April 2016

Luretta Bybee

Mary

May 7, 8, 11, 14, 18, 20 & 21

Daniel Sumegi

Daland

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Daland, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Daland, The Flying Dutchman (’07)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Fafner and Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’09 and ’13)

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Recently: Sarastro, The Magic Flute, and Wurm, Luisa Miller (Opera Australia); Walter, Luisa Miller (San Francisco Opera)
Upcoming: Fasolt and Hagen, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Opera Australia); Johnny Iselin, The Manchurian Candidate (Austin Opera)


Last updated: April 2016

Daniel Sumegi

Daland

May 7, 8, 11, 14, 18, 20 & 21

Colin Ainsworth

Steersman

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Steersman, The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Toronto, ON
Recently: Pylade, Iphigénie en Tauride (Teatro Nacional de São Carlos); Master Ford, Salieri’s Falstaff (Voicebox: Opera in Concert); Renaud, Armide (Opéra Royal de Versailles)
Upcoming: Jason, Médée (Opera Atelier); Soloist, Diary of One Who Vanished (Ottawa Chamber Festival)

Last updated: April 2016

Colin Ainsworth

Steersman

Seattle Opera debut
May 7, 8, 11, 14, 18, 20 & 21

Cast

Creative Team

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2016/17: Hansel and Gretel

Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Seattle Opera Debut: International Wagner Competition and Speight Celebration (’14)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Flying Dutchman (’16)
Music Director, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra
Recently: Il trovatore and Madama Butterfly (Opera San Antonio); Der Rosenkavalier (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing)
Upcoming: Dead Man Walking (Royal Danish Opera)

Last updated: October 2016

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Conductor

Christopher Alden

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Don Giovanni, 1991

Hometown: New York, NY
Recently: Norma (English National Opera); Tristan und Isolde (Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe); Mozart/Da Ponte Trilogy (Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Upcoming: Sweeney Todd (Glimmerglass Opera); Il turco in Italia (Warsaw); The Tales of Hoffmann (Opernhaus Wuppertal)

Last updated: April 2016

Christopher Alden

Director

Allen Moyer

Set & Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut: Carmen (2004)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Il trovatore (2010)

Hometown: Schuylkill Haven, PA
Recently: Scenic design, Emmeline (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); Scenic and Costume design, La fille du régiment (Santa Fe Opera); Scenic design, Die Fledermaus (English National Opera)
Upcoming: Scenic design, Vanessa (Santa Fe Opera and Wexford Festival); Scenic design, Champion (Washington National Opera); Scenic design, Shalimar the Clown (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)

Last updated: April 2016

 

Allen Moyer

Set & Costume Designer

Anne Militello

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: The Flying Dutchman
Seattle Opera Debut

Hometown: Buffalo, NY
Recently: Dulce Rosa (Los Angeles Opera); Blacktop Highway (Redcat Theater); Light Cycles (Commissioned Art Installation at the World Trade Center, New York
Upcoming: The House Is Black (Royce Hall); 29 Space Time (Redcat Theater); Ribbons of Light (Commission Art Installation Battery Park City, New York)

Last updated: April 2016

Anne Militello

Lighting Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Hair and Makeup Designer (Los Angeles, CA)

Joyce Degenfelder’s association with Seattle Opera began in 1992 with The Ballad of Baby Doe. In 2003, Degenfelder made her Seattle Opera design debut with Parsifal, and ever since she has designed makeup and wigs for all of Seattle Opera’s productions. In addition to her work with Seattle Opera, she is also wig master for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and ACT Theater. Her work has been seen around the country including Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

Read our interview with Joyce Degenfelder HERE.

Last Updated: October 2015

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Gunta Dreifelds

English Captions

Gunta Dreifelds has been the resident SURTITLESTM Producer at the Canadian Opera Company since they were invented in Toronto in 1983 under the helm of Lotfi Mansouri. Her work has been presented in COC productions at the Edinburgh Festival, the Melbourne Festival and The Brooklyn Academy of Music. Most recently her titles were featured in San Francisco Opera's Merola Ensemble production of SVADBA: The Wedding by Ana Sokolovica. Seattle Opera has presented her titles for Così fan tutte, Bluebeard’s Castle, and Erwartung.

Gunta Dreifelds

English Captions

Creative Team

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

Orchestra

Violin I
Simon James, Concertmaster
Mariel Bailey
Blayne Barnes
Eugene Bazhanov
Cecelia Poellein Buss
Timothy Garland
Adrianna Hulscher
Mae Lin
Jennifer Caine Provine
Mikhail Shmidt, Asst. ConcertmasterClark Story
John Weller

Violin II
Kathleen Boyer, Principal
Gennady Filimonov, Assistant Principal
Evan Anderson
Brittany Boulding Breeden
Xiao-po Fei
Sande Gillette
Artur Girsky
Victoria Parker
Joy Rhee
Andrew Yeung

Viola
Susan Gulkis Assadi, Principal
Arie Schachter, Assistant Principal
Aaron Conitz
Wesley Dyring
Allison Farkas
Joseph Gottesman
Sayaka Kokubo
Laura Renz

Cello
Walter Gray, Principal
Roberta Downey, Assistant Principal
Bruce Bailey
Hélène Ferret-Kaufman
Charles Jacot
Page Smith-Bilski

Bass
Jordan Anderson, Principal
Ted Botsford, Assistant Principal
Travis Gore
Todd Larsen
Masaru Podgorny

Flute
Jeffrey Barker, Principal
Judy Kriewall

Piccolo
Robin Peery

Oboe
Mary Lynch, Principal
Stefan Farkas

Clarinet
Laura DeLuca, Principal
Craig Rine

Bassoon
Paul Rafanelli, Principal
Michael Gamburg

Horn
Jeff Fair, Principal
Rodger BurnettAsst. Principal
Jonathan Karschney
John Turman
Mark Robbins

Trumpet
David Gordon, Principal
Vince Green

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Stephen Fissel

Tuba
Christopher Olka, Principal

Timpani
Michael Crusoe, Principal

Percussion
Matt Kocmieroski, Principal

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal

Banda

Horn
Rodger Burnett
Cara Kizer

Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

Assistant Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

 

 

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Chorus

Soprano
Donna Baldwin
Jennifer Bromagen
Carissa Castaldo
Jennifer Cross
Karen Early-Evans
Melanie Hingson
Dana Johnson
Laura Loge
Mary McLaughlin
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox
Shelly Traverse
Erin White
Eliza Woodyard

Mezzo-Soprano
Annalisee Brasil
Lorraine Burdick
YeonSoo Lee
Cheryse McLeod Lewis
Rachelle Moss
Gail Neil
Dawn Padula
Elizabeth Peterson
Allison Brooke Robertson
Susan Salas
Lucy Weber

Tenor
Nathan Barnes
Benjamin Cleveland
Jon Farmer
Gabriel Gargari
Jonathan Hill
Tim Janecke
Bob Leavens
Ian Loney
John Marzano
German Mendoza
Dan McGraw
Joshua Quesada
Karl Marx Reyes
Derek Sellers
Logan Skirm
Stephen Wall
James Walters
Colin Ward

Bass/Baritone
Dan Aarthun
Ryan Bede
Michael Dunlap
Craig Garretson
Paul Gauger
Craig Grayson
Michael Heitmann
Tom Hingson
Ben Kramer
Kwangsuk Ku
Gregory Lewis
Dierre Lopez
Michael Monnikendam
Misha Myznikov
Julian Reisenthel
Jonah Spool
Revere Taylor
Nathaniel Voth
Brett Youngquist

Supernumeraries

Tim Barrick
Tony Barrick
Paul Chatel
Brian Davis-Hopkins
Richard Eidal
Jimmy Harrop
Jay Jones
David Lee
Rich Lewis
David O’Brien
Tyson Sadleir
Bruce Schickler
Kevin Swantek
Adam Tamble

 

Orchestra, Chorus, & Additional Artists

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All performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Production Sponsors

Nesholm Family Foundation
ArtsFund
City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Main Photo © Philip Newton | Photos © Gary Beechey