Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman)
‘A Landmark in Musical History’ is John Luke Rose’s title for the introduction to this extraordinary piece of theatre. It belongs to the German tradition of mystical writing, and a short note on the poem itself by Martin Swales and Timothy McFarland elucidates some of Wagner’s literary techniques. Anthony Negus, who assisted Reginald Goodall on the WNO production of Tristan und Isolde, has contributed a penetrating analysis of the musical structure of the opera, while Patrick Carnegy assesses the remarkable solutions to staging an opera which some argue is best experienced with your back to the performers.
Contents: Behind ‘The Flying Dutchman’, John Warrack; An introduction to ‘The Flying Dutchman’, John Deathridge; Loneliness, Love and Death, William Vaughan; The Overture to ‘The Flying Dutchman’, Richard Wagner; Remarks on Performing ‘The Flying Dutchman’, Richard Wagner; Der fliegende Holländer: Poem by Richard Wagner; The Flying Dutchman: English translation by David Pountney
Richard Wagner (1813–83) was a composer who drew inspiration from Christian and Nordic mythology, as well as the philosophy of Schopenhauer, to pioneer dramatically new forms of music. His concept of the “Total Artwork” led to the construction of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house he designed specifically for productions of his own operas. He also wrote widely on music and art. His operas include Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the four parts of Der Ring des Nibelungen.