The great bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel brings his acclaimed portrayal of the doomed title sea captain to cinemas for the first time on March 14. Valery Gergiev conducts a new production by François Girard, whose visionary 2013 take on Parsifal set the recent Met standard for Wagner stagings. With sweeping sets by John Macfarlane, Girard’s new production turns the Met stage into a rich, layered tableau reminiscent of a vast oil painting. The gifted German soprano Anja Kampe, in her Met debut run, is the devoted Senta, whose selfless love is what the Dutchman seeks, with bass Franz-Josef Selig as her father, Daland, and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov as her deserted former lover, Erik. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to more than 2,200 theaters in more than 70 countries worldwide.
The Met: Live in HD series, reaching more than 70 countries, makes the Met the world’s leading provider of alternative cinema content and the only arts institution with an ongoing global series of this scale. When the series launched in 2006, the Met was the first arts company to experiment with alternative cinema content. Since then, the program has grown every season, with more than 25 million tickets sold to date.
Senior and students (with ID): $20
Student tickets are available for elementary through post-graduate levels
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Presented with support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
Composer and Librettist: Richard Wagner
The Norwegian coast, 19th century. A storm has driven Daland’s ship several miles from his home. Sending his crew off to rest, he leaves the watch in charge of a young steersman, who falls asleep as he sings about his girl. A ghostly schooner drops anchor next to Daland’s ship. Its captain steps ashore and, with increasing despair, reflects on his fate: once every seven years he may leave his ship to find a wife. If she is faithful, she will redeem him from his deathless wandering. If not, he is condemned to sail the ocean until Judgment Day. Daland discovers the phantom ship, and the stranger, who introduces himself as “a Dutchman,” tells him of his plight. The Dutchman offers gold and jewels for a night’s lodging, and when he learns that Daland has a daughter, asks for her hand in marriage. Happy to have found a rich son-in-law, Daland agrees and sets sail for home.
Daland’s daughter, Senta, is captivated by the portrait of a pale man in black—the Flying Dutchman. Her friends, working under the watchful eye of Mary, Senta’s nurse, tease Senta about her suitor, Erik, who is a hunter, not a sailor. When the superstitious Mary refuses to sing a ballad about the Dutchman, Senta sings it herself. The song reveals that the Dutchman’s curse was put on him for a blasphemous oath. To everyone’s horror, Senta suddenly declares that she will be the woman to save him. Erik enters with news of the sailors’ return. Alone with Senta, he reminds her of her father’s wish to find her a husband and asks her to plead his cause, but she remains distant. Realizing how much the Dutchman’s picture means to her, he tells her of a frightening dream in which he saw her embrace the Dutchman and sail away on his ship. Senta declares that this is what she must do, and Erik rushes off in despair. A moment later, the Dutchman enters. Senta stands transfixed. Daland follows and asks his daughter to welcome the stranger, whom he has brought to be her husband. Daland leaves, and the Dutchman, who is equally moved by the meeting, asks Senta if she will accept him. Unaware that she realizes who he is, he warns her of making a rash decision, but she vows to be faithful to him unto death. Daland is overjoyed to learn that his daughter has accepted the suitor.
At the harbor, the villagers celebrate the sailors’ return. Baffled by the strange silence aboard the Dutchman’s ship, they call out to the crew, inviting them to join the festivities. Suddenly the ghostly sailors appear, mocking their captain’s quest in hollow chanting. The villagers flee in terror. Quiet returns and Senta appears, followed by the distressed Erik. He pleads with her not to marry the Dutchman since she has already pledged her love to him. The Dutchman, who has overheard them, lets go of all hope and boards his ship. When Senta tries to stop him, he explains she will escape damnation—the fate of those who betray him—only because she has not yet proclaimed her vows before God. He reveals his identity and Senta ecstatically replies that she knows who he is. As his ship pulls away, she throws herself into the sea, faithful unto death.