Wagner – Der fliegende Holländer


The story about a brave captain, stubbornly choosing the path to disaster, against all odds. But also in fury killing and cursing God. He could have redeemed his soul on the way to damnation. Instead he chose against God, sealing his fate. But also a story about a Dutchman, and I couldn’t let that go, naturally.

The Holländer was punished to forever roam the seas on his ghost ship. In Wagner’s version, he can only end this if he finds the love of a woman that is faithful to him until his death.

He does, but then the father of the girl doesn’t like her to marry the gruesome captain, who is essentially a ghost. The Holländer finds out, feels she’s not going to be faithful after all, and leaves without her.

Then in a dramatic act of self-sacrifice, Senta, the girl concerned, jumps into the sea and kills herself. Not before vowing to be faithful to him until death. And this saves them both: their souls fly to heaven.

I remember seeing the opera twice in the same season. The Nationale Opera (back then De Nederlandse Opera) performed this ten times in what must have been 1995, and I visited two of those. I was very impressed.

This record is good, the performance is good, but I am a bit troubled by the background sound of feet moving over the stage. You hear a lot of shuffling about, and it is distracting. I like to see opera in it’s real, theatre form, but I like to have my records cleaned of that extra noise.

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