The Canadian Opera Company’s: The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (October 7, 9, 13, 15, 19, 21, and 23, 2022)

As the Fall approaches it’s time to venture out and immerse ourselves in gorgeous opera performances perhaps with a hot drink in hand. This opera season, the Canadian Opera company presents, The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts between October 7, 9, 13, 15, 19, 21, and 23, 2022. It is a romantic opera in 3 acts with libretto and would pair beautifully with a hot drink in tow.

Consider this; the Flying Dutchman is an epic opera, heaving with emotion, and contains a score that is full of pomp and circumstance. The Flying Dutchman will make you swoon and want to weep all at the same time. Inspired by German expressionism and early cinema, the opera will pull you close and encourage you to reflect on your year with a critical lens.

The Flying Dutchman’s is a doomed sailor cursed to sail the seas without respite, only able to set foot on shore for one day every seven years. His freedom can only come with the finding of true love. When a local sailor and his daughter Senta encounter the ghostly ship, initial attraction leads to a high-stakes test of devotion. A truly riveting storyline brimming with heartache, love and passion.

0342 – (front, l-r) Marjorie Owens as Senta and Johan Reuter as the Dutchman in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of The Flying Dutchman, 2022. Conductor Johannes Debus, original director Christopher Alden, revival director Marilyn Gronsdal, set and costume designer Allen Moyer, lighting designer Anne Militello. Photo: Michael Cooper

The passion is further articulated by the stunning tilted and twisted set landscape by American designer Allen Moyer. It is aesthetically pleasing and jaw dropping marvel to behold. The ship’s crew fling their bodies to and fro as they mimic the ship’s ghostly nautical sway in the moonlight. The storm clouds and bleak skies pop out as the opera begins to cast you under its spell alongside a mechanical sewing and ship wheel, reclaimed wooden windows and chairs, and a beckoning crème sail.

The Flying Dutchman feverish romantic score is amplified by COC Music Director Johannes Debus in collaboration with Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst. Danish baritone Johan Reuter takes on the title role as the Dutchman. His performance is genuine, roaring and full of grit in stormy waters. American soprano Marjorie Owens plays the young woman infatuated with the Dutchman. Her performance is effervescent, delicate and yearning in the darkened wooden ship’s interiors. German bass Franz-Josef Selig plays Daland, the captain who discovers the Dutchman’s ghostly ship. We observe the grandiosity in his voice which beckons us to look deeper into his contributions. American tenor Miles Mykkanen illuminates the role of the Steersman and commands us to reflect on the resurfacing multiple points of views throughout the opera.

The Flying Dutchman is a hot Fall treat. It is a perfect opera for a first time attendee and a delicious delight for a seasoned opera fan. After two long years away from opera, The Flying Dutchman will offer room for introspection of love lost, a possibility for new love to be found and relish the meditative beauty of opera.

The Flying Dutchman is sung in German and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

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