Quantcast Skip to main content

Information 213.972.8001

James Conlon: Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman"

flying dutchman collage

By James Conlon

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Henry David Thoreau

Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

The protagonist of The Flying Dutchman has led a (very long) life of desperation, but thanks to Richard Wagner, not a quiet one. He will go to his place in the universe (no grave) but, fortunately for us, will have left behind his “song.” His song is not just that of the protagonist of this opera, but that of one who will be omnipresent in the rest of all of Wagner’s music dramas: The Outsider.

This production marks LA Opera’s first tribute to the three composers who share an anniversary in 2013. They are, in order of their births, Richard Wagner, Giuseppe Verdi and Benjamin Britten. The Outsider will be as ubiquitous in Wagner’s works as the plight of the tragic father in Verdi’s and the voice of outraged innocence in Britten’s.

Another key characteristic embodied in the Dutchman is that of “The Wanderer.”

I wander silently and am somewhat unhappy,
And my sighs always ask "Where?"
In a ghostly breath it calls back to me,
There, where you are not, there is your happiness.
(Translation by Paul Hindemith)

Franz Schubert’s rendition of this poem by George Philipp Schmidt (von Lübeck), from which Franz Liszt further developed his work for piano and orchestra, is a classic. Wagner draws from the ancient myth of the “Wandering Jew” and initiates a series of exiles who will appear in his subsequent music dramas: Tannhauser, Siegmund and Sieglinde, Wotan (who will actually be renamed “The Wanderer” in Siegfried) and Tristan. Even Lohengrin and Elsa, despite their enormous dissimilarity with the Dutchman and Senta, also tell a tale of a distant “mythical” figure who exists first in the imagination of a young woman and then in reality. Lohengrin and the Dutchman enter the real world, the former from the realm of the grail and the latter from that of the devil. Both women lose their earthly existence, Elsa as a victim and Senta as the first in a series of self-sacrificing women.

Senta represents a third motif that will be repeated constantly in Wagner’s works: the redemptive woman, who teaches the world true love by sacrificing her own life to save a masculine soul imprisoned in emotional and metaphysical torments. Although criticized for its male bias, Wagner’s vision of this figure implicitly suggests that the man, wracked by his own conflicts and longings, can never achieve what the woman possesses by birthright. She incarnates infinite and redemptive love, and is the core of the universe.

I believe that the full power of the union of Senta and the Dutchman can be understood more completely if interpreted as the mythical (re)union of two parts of a common soul, man and woman, like Siegmund and Sieglinde. Viewed in this manner, Wagner steps into the world of myth for the first time, opening up the future to the Ring.

The Dutchman, who made his Faustian pact with the Devil, has been condemned to sail the seas for centuries, to be released from his curse and allowed to die only if he can find a woman who is faithful to him. He has lived on the sea, lonely and increasingly bitter, apart from any other society, unable to have a home, unable to rest, unable to find serenity.

Even in the most settled and stable of us, there is a part that has known that sense of exile and separateness on some level. The Dutchman embodies the 19th- century German concept of “Sehnsucht” (yearning). The painful perception of the distance between an ideal world and the realities of life is a staple in the artistic environment of the German-speaking world of that time. It fueled the poetry and literature of its time, impregnated the music of Schubert and Schumann, and eventually was projected onto a cosmic screen by Wagner.

This yearning exists not just in the Dutchman, but also in Senta, the young woman who has grown up obsessed with the legend of the Dutchman. She lives in isolation within her community precisely because she has been drawn to the fate of this mythical outsider, whose picture hangs on the wall and through whose agency she becomes an outsider herself. Perhaps she recognizes her status as outsider early on, and bonds with the myth in a mystical union that only she can understand.

Even Erik, the young man who believes himself to be betrothed to Senta, is an outsider. As a hunter living in a community of sea-faring men, Erik is subject to the cultural tensions between the men of the sea and those of the land. Like Senta, he suffers the disdain of his community. The Dutchman wanders, Senta and Erik do not, but all three are equally isolated.

Finally, the power of the sea, in both its real and symbolic forms, competes for the status of protagonist. A perfect medium to express the tempestuous, oceanic emotions that characterize so many operas, it serves Wagner here as it will again in Tristan und Isolde as a metaphor for colossal emotional, metaphysical and erotic forces. Verdi will use it as a metaphor of exile for the Doge in Simon Boccanegra, landlocked as head of state while his heart is at sea. Britten also lives in dialogue with the sea, from Peter Grimes through Billy Budd to the end of his life with Death in Venice.

Thoreau’s “quiet desperation,” or Puccini’s writing the “tragedies of little souls” are nowhere to be found in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. He casts the mythical dimensions of his protagonist onto a cosmic panorama. There is despair and desperation, but there is also devotion and that central theme to all of Wagner’s work: redemptive love.

  1. Awesome news, thank.... best bait for bass | best bait for bass fishing | best baits for bass | best baits for bass fishing | what is the best bait bass | what is the best bait for bass | what is the best bait for bass fishing | best lures bass | best lures for bass | best lures for bass fishing | what is the best lure for bass | what is the best lure for bass fishing
  2. Thanks sounds interesting... roblox hack | online robux generator | free robux | clash of clans hacks | clash of clans gem hack | clash of clans gems hack | boom beach hacks | boom beach cheats | boom beach hack tool | moviestarplanet hack tool | msp hack | moviestarplanet hack | msp hack tool | moviestarplanet free vip | clash royale gems hack | clash royale gem hack | clash royale hack
  3. Wearing an NFL Jersey while cheering on your team is the truest form of a fan Wholesale Jerseys 2016 . Fanatics.com know that NFL Jerseys are absolute essentials for football fanatics, that's why we devote ourselves to bringing all devout fans the best selection of NFL Football Jerseys to choose from. An NFL isn't just worn on gamedays, it's worn all year long, into the offseason, out on the town, and while hanging at home. There's no better way to keep your devotion to the team displayed all year long than putting on your favorite NFL Jersey while preparing to tackle your day. At Fanatics.com we make sure every level of fan can score the
  4. NHL
  5. they're looking for. If you're a lady that loves the game and want to switch up your gameday look with a Ladies NFL Jersey, then you'll find that right here, along with kids football jerseys for youth and even babies and toddlers
  6. MLB
  7. , too. Men can vary what jersey to wear with our home, away and alternate NFL Jersey selection. Fanatics.com doesn't limit NFL Football Jerseys to just one style, you'll find Elite, Game and Limited jerseys that hit every price point
  8. NBA
  9. , along with NFL Jerseys on Sale for an even softer hit to your wallet. Get ready for the big game in the Bay Area with Super Bowl 50 Jerseys, available now. So go ahead, buy yourself that jersey for the player who pulled you through the fantasy football season
  10. NCAA
  11. , or cheer on the big names of your team in official Nike NFL Jerseys from Fanatics.com. NFL Elite Jerseys are the closest you'll get to suiting up in authentic NFL uniforms. The Elite NFL Jerseys are exactly like the jerseys worn on the field by your team and feature water-resistant fabric
  12. Sunglasses
  13. , Flywire strength and zoned stretched fit to stand up to the toughest plays. Pull on an Elite NFL Jersey to put yourself into the game in authentic wear. The NFL Limited Jerseys are the middle ground in the jersey game, making them popular picks for serious fans
  14. Club
  15. . Offering the quality of Flywire to resist stretching, flexible twill numbers and lettering and ventilation areas, the Limited Jerseys are an awesome jersey to grab at a great price. NFL Game Jerseys are made for more casual wear and offer lighter features that'll take a lighter hit on your wallet
  16. Soccer Country
  17. , too. Game Jerseys still come with durable construction you've come to expect from Nike NFL Jerseys, and feature silicone printed numbers and lettering for maximum comfort while showing your big-time pride. Make sure you make the right call when ordering your NFL Jersey by checking out our NFL Jersey Size Chart
  18. Hats
  19. , helpful for picking the right size football jersey for kids up to Big & Tall Sizes. While some NFL Jersey top sellers stay the same through the season, rookies and vets who make big plays often jump into the top sellers list after Sundays. Peyton Manning Jerseys sales have stayed strong
  20. Accessory
  21. , and now that he's headed to Super Bowl 50, his jerseys are head-to-head with Cam Newton Jersey sales. Patriots Jerseys are always popular, along with Tom Brady Jerseys, but Broncos Jerseys have topped the list now that they took down the Pats in the AFC Championship. John Elway Jerseys even hit a spike recently, along with Demaryius Thomas
  22. Shoes
  23. , Luke Kuechly, Von Miller, Greg Olsen, Champ Bailey and Emmanuel Sanders Jerseys rounding out the most recent top selling NFL Jerseys.
  24. Interesting story..free iphone 5
  25. Semenjak mengetahui bahwa kesehatan putranya semakin memburuk, Agus tetap semangat mencari jalan lain untuk menyembuhkan penyakit putranya. Usahanya tak selesai sampai disini. “Di kantor saat sedang tidak begitu banyak kerja, saya coba mencari di internet tentang cara menyembuhkan ginjal bocor. Kemudian judul Obat Penyakit Ginjal Bocor amazon Plus Mengobati Penyakit Ginjal Bocor Secara Alami. Pikir saya! Ah, tidak ada salahnya untuk mencoba amazon Plus ini! Kemudian saya membelinya sebanyak dua botol di Kantor amazon yang terletak di Jakarta” ucap Agus lagi. obat herbal ginjal bocor terampuh Kanker usus besar merupakan sejenis penyakit kanker yang sembilan puluh sembilan koma tujuh % disebabkan oleh bakteri onkogenik, yang mempengaruhi usus besar. Jenis kanker seperti ini dapat hadir dengan pendarahan feses, tapi gejala jenis kanker ini tidak terlihat hingga kanker memasuki tingkat yang lebih jauh, yang membuat kanker usus besar fokus pengamatan menggunakan screening usus. Kebanyakan survey membuktikan bahwa bakteri jahat bertanggung jawab untuk semua kasus kanker usus besar. Perawatan termasuk operasi pada tingkat awal, & radioterapi pada stadium akhir jenis peyakit ini. Obat Herbal Alami Kanker Kolorektal amazon Jus Manggis yakni pilihan yang paling aman dalam mengobati sakit kanker kolon ini hingga sembuh. obat herbal kanker usus Saya mengonsumsi sebanyak tiga botol Obat Herbal Kanker Serviks Jus Kulit Manggis kira-kira tiga minggu, saya merasakan ada perkembangan yang sangat baik pada tubuh saya. Saya juga telah periksakan diri ke dokter dan hasilnya sangat membahagiakan ketika dinyatakan kanker saya sudah sembuh total. Saya minum 30 ml tiap pagi hari, siang & malam hari.. Sampai saat ini saya tetap konsumsi Obat Tradisional Alami Kanker Rahim amazon.obat tradisional kanker serviks stadium 4
  26. Pulau Tidung Trans Studio Bandung Farm House Lembang Candi Prambanan Gili Trawangan Kawah Putih Tebing Keraton Pulau Harapan Kawah Ijen Pantai Pandawa Floating Market Lembang Gunung Prau Kebun Raya Bogor Universal Studio Singapore Gunung Merapi Malioboro Ubud Bukit Moko Kampung Daun Ocean Park Ciwidey Pulau Pramuka Pantai Kuta Tanjung Benoa
  27. THE FLYING DUTCHMAN is nice post. Really the life story is very amazing. Thanks for your great post and share a good information about THE FLYING DUTCHMAN. Buy Generic viagra online
  28. nice article...(Cahyo) Paket Umroh Desember 2016 Paket Umroh November 2016 Paket umroh plus Turki 2016 Biaya Paket Umroh 2016 Paket Umroh Januari 2017 Paket Umroh Maret 2017 Paket Umroh April 2017 Paket Umroh Mei 2017 Paket Umroh Ramadhan 2017 Paket Haji ONH Plus 2017
  29. interesting article.....(Cahyo) Paket Umroh Desember 2016 Paket Umroh November 2016 Paket umroh plus Turki 2016 Biaya Paket Umroh 2016
Post a comment
  3. User verification Image for user verification  
  4. Send