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Der fliegende Holländer

A Dutch mariner challenged the devil to pass the Cape of Good Hope. He succeeded but was cursed to sail forever, landing only once in seven years. He and his crew could be saved only by a woman who would be faithful to him until death. He has never found her. The opera opens in Norway where the Dutchman is going to make one of his visits to land. Senta, the daughter of a sailing captain, is obsessed with the story of the Flying Dutchman. Her father, interested only in the Dutchman’s wealth and not knowing his identity, agrees to give her to him. She is ecstatic, as is the Dutchman, and the two pledge eternal love. Later, the Dutchman hears her reject a suitor, Erik, who claims that she had agreed to marry him. Disillusioned and fearing that Senta will treat him as she apparently treated Erik, the Dutchman announces his departure. Senta, faithful until death, plunges into the sea, and the Dutchman and his crew are released from their torment.

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Photo Credit

Der fligender Holländer, 1989 © Ron Scherl