Ghostly sails move against an inky black sky. A grizzled sailor paces the main deck looking out across the choppy waters for any port of refuge. In the not-so-distance, thunder rumbles, heralding an impending storm.
A mere 180 years after Richard Wagner first conducted arguably his most famous work, and his first bonafide masterpiece, at The Royal Court Theatre in Dresden, The Flying Dutchmen docks at The Queen Elizabeth Theater at the end of this month, the final show of Vancouver Opera’s 2022/23 season.
The company has produced the German opera before to great acclaim, with season ticket holders sounding its encore for years. This will be an all-new production directed by Alberta-by-way-of-the-world’s Brian Deedrick and conducted by Vancouver’s own Les Dala. Its three-show run promises a haunting, non-traditional presentation that holds on to all of the magic and dazzling spectacle of that first show in 1843. It will be sung in German with supertitles above the stage.
Renowned Canadian baritone Greg Dahl returns to the role of the Dutchman, a captain cursed to sail the seas for eternity unless he can find true love on the one day every seven years he’s permitted to step ashore. Marjorie Owens joins the cast from opera stages all over the world as Senta, the daughter of a Norwegian sea captain who will offer that redemption for the Dutchman. Of course, it’s not that easy, and a love triangle, a crew of ghosts, and a fatal misunderstanding threaten to sink the entire operation.
So pull up your anchors for one more trip this season and hoist your sails set for the Queen Elizabeth Theater. The Flying Dutchmen only puts into port for three shows: April 29, May 4 and 7.
Fledgling theatre-goers can also take part in the returning VO program, 40 under 40! If you’re under forty years old, you can snag $40 tickets to experience the performance on Thursday, May 4.
Or you can make fast your tickets for the rest of the run right here.
*Photos are by Rene Pierre and feature Gregory Dahl.
Queen Elizabeth Theatre: From Vancouver City Centre Canada Line/Skytrain Station, walk about 10 minutes East!
Plan your route to see this show or other community events at the museum with TransLink Trip Planner.