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The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman

Richard Wagner
Opera in 3 acts (performed with one intermission)
Libretto by Richard Wagner

Running time with one intermission: 3 hours

The Project Manager - Vasily Ryabenky, General Director of the Donbass Opera, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine
Stage Director - Mara Kurochka (Germany)
Producing Conductors - Vasily Vasilenko, People’s Artist of Ukraine; Michael Sinkevich (The Mariinsky Theatre)
Producing Chorus Master - Lyudmila Streltsova, People’s Artist of Ukraine
Set Designers - Momme Hinrichs and Torge Möller (Germany)
Costume Designer - Julia Harttung (Germany)
Artistic Consultants for the Project - Vadim Pisarev, Artistic Manager for the Donbas Opera, People’s Artist of Ukraine; Alexander Yankov, ProMusica Classic Company Manager (Switzerland)
Conductor - Michael Sinkevich (The Mariinsky Theatre)

About the opera

The Flying Dutchman was one of the first operas written by Richard Wagner to his own libretto in Dresden in 1843.

There were a number of interpretations of the legend about the Flying Dutchman before Wagner implemented them into his work. Walter Scott being a real history explorer stated that the legend based on a real historical event. One murderer loaded a cargo of gold aboard his ship. A tempest burst out during his voyage and all the ports turned out to be closed for that ship. That story, as well as the superstitious fear of seafarers that seeing the ghost ship brings misfortunes, acquired a number of picturesque details as time was passing by. There was a belief that once in seven years the captain can get ashore and stay there until he finds a woman who will love him to death.

The idea to use that story came to Wagner during a very strong tempest that burst during his voyage from Eastern Prussia to England. The voyage that tended to last for seven days extended for three weeks that time. The wind threw the vessel to the Scandinavian shore not far from some fishermen’ village and exclamations of the sailors that the opera has were likely to be heard by the composer right there: the triple echo sounded in the fjord flying from one rock to the other.

In several weeks, in Paris, being in a desperate financial state Wagner brought his libretto called The Flying Dutchman to the Parisian Grand Opera Manager. “We will never perform music by some unknown German composer so there is no point composing it”, he said. However, having received 500 Franks Wagner went home… to start writing his opera.

Today The Flying Dutchman is on stage not only in all German theatres and but in many opera theatres throughout the world.  

The original director's interpretation and unique set design

It is an old family photograph. Everybody looks happy. All of a sudden the picture turns alive and falls apart like a puzzle. The family members leave the photo one after another. What is the matter? They make Senta marry Erik whom she does not love, but she dreams of a romantic hero, the Dutchman. Being unable to get along with her destiny Senta kills herself and all further events, such as arrival of her father Daland’s ships and arrival of the Flying Dutchman at the port, meeting with the Dutchman, passionate confessions of Erik, and, at the end of the day, ruining the curse of the ghost shop, appear in Senta’s pre-mortal dream.

The stage director Mara Kurochka has changed the libretto a bit: “ The original version is a story about unhappy love in the final of which the main character Senta kills herself jumping off the cliff to prove her loyalty to the Dutchman. I am telling The Dutchman as a worrying Senta’s dream. This is very close to the music concept of Wagner.

On one hand it revives the spirit of the time, shows Senta’s inclination to hallucinations and exaltation, on the other hand it creates background for developing fantasies. Senta’s visions and apparitions come from under the bed. The bed sheet spreads out on the whole stage turning into the sea. The sea flows into the door and unfolds out of the suit. The waves are hitting wildly, they are concealing an abysm ... The sea surface is full of unspoken desires, fears, hopes and crimes. They take turns to bleed through the surface as reflections or reveal themselves on the background like lost souls and cover all the events on stage.

The Senta’s dream gives the audience the first hand emotional experience of the events. We can witness the limited, cash-based, hostile and rigid world where Senta’s father and Mary dominate. Senta dreams of the Dutchman and sees him as her soul mate in her fantasies.

It is not the first time when I stage Wagner. Parallels with contemporary world and worries of the passed epochs have been important to me”.

Unique set design

The unique contemporary overhead projector called BARCO has helped the stage designers Momme Hinrichs and Torge Möller tp create an illusion of the floating vessel, rough sea and the ocean world. Video art projection makes up the mystic atmosphere. The whole stage is covered b the huge tilted uprising that imitates a ship’s deck. The construction is fixed tilted to create 3D effect. Maximum height if the uprising on the stage is 2 meters. 

Performers on Sept 6

THE DUTCHMAN - Andreas Macco, bass-baritone (Germany)

Mr. Macco studied music in Stuttgart Conservatory and solo singing in Music Academies of Frankfurt and Vienna. He worked in at State Opera of Hannover, Frankfurt and Bonn Operas. The singer has been a guest singer with the best European theatres since 2004.

His repertoire includes: 

Gurnemanz (Parsifal by Richard Wagner);
Fasolt, Fafner and Wotan (Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner);
Wotan (The Valkyrie by Richard Wagner);
The Dutchman (The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner);
Sarastro (The Magic Flute by W. A. Mozart);
Leporello, Don Giovanni and the Commander (Don Giovanni by W. A. Mozart);
Figaro and Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro by W. A. Mozart);
The King of Egypt (Aida by Giuseppe Verdi);
Philippe II (Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi);
Count Walter (Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi);
Mephistopheles (Faust by Charles Gounod);
Golaud (Pelléas and Mélisande by Claude Debussy).

Mr. Mocco has taken part in international music festival in Bayreuth (Germany), Saltsburg (Austria), in the festival Musical May (Florence, Italy).

The singer has worked with the following conductors: Claudio Abbado, Giuseppe Sinopolli, Franz Welser-Möst, Zubin Mehta; as well as with the following opera directors: Stephane Braunschweig, Robert Wilson , Peter Stein.

DALAND - Walter Fink, bass (Austria, Vienna Opera)

Mr. Fink is MA and studied solo singing in Vienna. He debuted on the opera stages of Dornbirn and St. Polten. He was invited to join Vienna State Opera in 1978. Between 1982 а in the Theatre of Bremen where he debuted as Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) by Richard Strauss. Mr. Fink has performed in Hungary, Germany, Italy, Finland, the USA (Metropolitan Opera) and other countries. The singer has worked as a soloist with Vienna State Opera and Vienna Folk Opera since 1991. The singer was awarded the title of the Chamber Singer of the Republic of Austria in 2001. 

His repertoire includes: 

Fafner (Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner);
The Dutchman (The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner);
Sarastro (The Magic Flute by W. A. Mozart);
Colline (La boheme by G. Puccini);
Don Basilio and Bartolo (The Barber of Seville by G. Rossini);
Falstaff (Falstaff by G. Verdi);
Other parts

SENTA - Lesya Alekseyeva, soprano (National Opera of Ukraine)

Laureate of Richard Wagner International Competition for Young Vocalists (Austria), Diploma Holder of Julian Gayarre International Singing Competition (Spain).

Ms. Alekseeva is a graduate of Pyotr Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music, University of Music and Theatre Art (Austria, Prof. Claudia Rüggeberg class). The singer has additional professional training in the Opera theatre of Treviso with Regina Resnik. 

Ms. Alekseeva has been a soloist with National Opera of Ukraine since 2011.

Her repertoire includes: 

Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni by W. A. Mozart);
Vitellia (The Clemency of Titus by W.A. Mozart);
Dorabella (The School for Lovers (Cosi Fan Tutte) by W. A. Mozart);
Cio-Cio-san (Madam Butterfly by G. Puccini);
Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana by P. Mascagni);
Mercedes (Carmen by G. Bizet);
other parts

Ms. Alekseeva has toured Italy, Germany, Austria, Poland, the UK, Belgium, Lithuania and other countries.

ERIK - Vitaly Kozin, tenor (Donbass Opera)

Mr. Kozin is a a graduate of Pyotr Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music. He worked with the Crimean Academic Musical Theatre, The Kyiv Operetta. The singer has been a soloist of the Solovyanenko Donetsk National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Donbass Opera) since 2010. 

His repertoire includes:

Rodolfo (La Boheme by G. Puccini);
Pinkerton (Madam Butterfly by G. Puccini);
part of tenor in Requiem by G.Verdi;
other parts.  

CONDUCTOR - Michael Sinkevich (The Mariinsky Theatre)

Mr. Sinkevich is a graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory (Prof. Illia Musin class). He has worked at the National Academic Bolshoy Theatre of Belarus. Mr. Sinkevich has been a guest conductor with the Mariinsky Theatre since 2000. 

Mr. Sinkevich conducts the following operas: 

Das Rheingold, The Valkyrie, The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner;
Dame Pique by Piotr Tchaikovsky;
Sadko by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov;
Ruslan and Lyudmila by Michael Glinka;
Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti;
Don Carlos, Aida, Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi;
Madam Butterfly and Turandot by Giacomo Puccini;
Carmen by Georges Bizet and others.

The conductor debuted in New National Opera of Tokyo in 2009 having performed Lady Macbeth by Mzensky Uezd by Dmitry Shostakovich. He has conducted with opera and ballet of the Mariinsky theatre, The Bolshoy Theatre in Moscow, Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Covent Opera Garden, other orchestras of Russia, Ukraine etc. 


October, 2016