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Der Fliegende Hollander
Der Fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman), or WWV 63, is an opera in German. Richard Wagner wrote both the words and the music for it. In 1843, Wagner led the first performance at the Konigliches Hoftheater in Dresden.
Wagner, in his autobiography, "Mein Leben," said that he got the idea for the opera during a stormy trip from Riga to London in July and August 1839. In his 1843 Autobiographical Sketch, Wagner got the story from Heinrich Heine's 1833 satirical novel The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski, which retold the legend (Aus den Memoiren des Herrn von Schnabelewopski).
This work shows how early on, he tried to use operatic styles, which would later become a hallmark of his musical dramas. In Der Fliegende Hollander, Wagner uses several leitmotifs, which mean "leading motifs," and are connected to the characters and themes. The overture is where all of the leitmotifs are introduced.
The Flying Dutchman will have to sail the seas all of the time. He can leave the ship once every seven years to look for a woman whose perfect love will save him. This time, once his seven years are over, he finds himself landing outside a Norwegian town. Along the way, he stays with a man named Daland after offering him wealth and jewels in exchange for a bed for the night.
Daland tells him that he has a daughter. Could she be the perfect love to make him feel better? The Dutchman's search has started up again. Will this be the end of his troubles at last? Wagner's rich orchestration and intense vocal music have been favorites of opera fans for a long time. This is why Der Fliegende Hollander is one of the operas performed most often each year.
History of Performance
On January 2, 1843, Der fliegende Holländer was performed for the first time at the Königlich Sächsisches Hoftheater. In 1901, Der fliegende Holländer was put on for the first time at the Bayreuth Festival.
In March 2020, the Met had to decide to cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season to keep everyone safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision also meant that the Live in HD season would end early, just a few days before a stirring new production of Der Fliegende Hollander by Francois Girard was set to air. As part of the normal process of getting ready for an HD broadcast, the last opera performance was recorded as a "camera rehearsal."