THE FLYING DUTCHMAN to Sail to The Atlanta Opera This Fall

By: Oct. 05, 2017
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The Atlanta Opera opens its main stage season with a stunning, all-new production of Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, featuring an internationally recognized cast and extraordinary visuals to present the old folktale in a new way.

Co-produced with the Houston Grand Opera and Cincinnati Opera and directed by General and Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun, this production of The Flying Dutchman will premiere in Atlanta before moving on to Houston and Cincinnati. The co-production is the most recent example of the powerful business approach that companies are now taking in the opera industry by coming together to satisfy the need for fresh retellings of stories through new productions in a fiscally responsible way.

The Atlanta Opera presents The Flying Dutchman on November 4, 7, 10 and 12 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Tickets start at $35 (before tax) and can be purchased at or by calling 404-881-8885. The opera will be performed in German with English subtitles.

Based on a Norwegian ghost story, The Flying Dutchman tells of the famed ghost ship doomed to wander the seas until its captain can find a wife. The ghost captain finds his love in a sailor's daughter, Senta, who is trapped in an arranged marriage, but finds escape from her mundane life through her obsession with the Dutchman. When the ghost ship makes port in her hometown, Senta is confronted with the consequences of her love.

"The Flying Dutchman is a grand story about anti-heroes finding redemption through love," Zvulun said. "Wagner was a visionary who featured these characters - 'the outsiders' - centuries before stories like this were prevalent in movies and on TV, like "Breaking Bad" and "Dexter." Before Wagner, most operas were about knights, kings and queens. Wagner changed the format and introduced anti-heroes who were wild at heart."

This opera is something of a milestone for Zvulun, who made his Atlanta Opera directorial debut with The Flying Dutchman in 2009. This production, however, is decidedly different. Zvulun collaborated with Brooklyn-based scenic and costume designer Jacob Climer, who previously designed sets and costumes 2016's The Abduction from the Seraglio, and projection designer S. Katy Tucker to create a new production which embraces the idea of "the outsider" in a small town. Senta, herself an antihero, escapes her mundane reality through her imagination. The innovative set, costumes and projections build up her imaginary universe of escape in contrast with the monochromatic world of her reality.

"The Flying Dutchman was Wagner's first opera to become part of the standard repertory. In it, he evokes with great orchestral color the forces of nature in his depiction of storm and waves, as well as the supernatural in the 'Ghost Chorus,'" said Arthur Fagen, The Carl and Sally Gable Music Director for The Atlanta Opera and Conductor for The Flying Dutchman. "This is combined with the musical expression of the suffering of the Dutchman and the hope of salvation through Senta."

Tenor Jay Hunter Morris returns to The Atlanta Opera to reprise the role Erik, which he last performed here in 2009. Morris cemented his international reputation as one of opera's finest Wagnerian tenors in October 2011, when he performed Siegfried in Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera as a last minute substitute for a sick colleague. The production was broadcast to theaters worldwide, and in 2013 earned him a Grammy for Best Opera Recording. Mr. Morris has most recently been seen on PBS in the role of Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick, from the San Francisco Opera. His 2013 book, Diary of a Redneck Opera Zinger, was published by Opera Lively.

Bass-baritone Wayne Tigges makes his Atlanta Opera debut as The Dutchman. Tigges, who is quickly establishing himself as one of the up-and-coming stars in the opera world, has sung at many of the great opera houses of the world including The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Lauded by the Chicago Sun Times for his "rich, dark, and beautiful legato", Tigges is equally at home doing roles that require vocal acrobats, as well as roles that require significantly more heft such as Wagner.

Soprano Melody Moore, last seen at the Atlanta Opera in 2012, will sing Senta. Moore is one of the leading interpreters of the dramatic soprano and has performed on many of the leading opera stages in the world, including San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Washington National Opera. She has sung the role of Senta to great acclaim across the country, including The Glimmerglass Festival, Hawaii Opera Theatre and Austin Opera. Earlier this year, she performed "Te Deum" with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Donald Runnicles. She is a 2007 San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and former Merola Opera Program participant, also with the SFO.

Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson sings the role of Daland, Senta's father. Iceland's best known international opera singer, Sigmundsson has performed in many of the leading opera houses and concert halls in Europe and the USA, including Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, L'Opéra de Paris, Staatsoper Vienna, Staatsoper Munich and Semperoper Dresden. Specifically, his performances at the Metropolitan Opera include Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Hundig in Die Walküre, Rocco in Fidelio, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Vodnik in Rusalka.

The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation. In 2013, the company recruited internationally recognized stage director Tomer Zvulun as its General and Artistic Director. In the 2014-2015 season, the company launched the acclaimed Discoveries series of operas staged in alternative theaters around Atlanta. The program was recognized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as part of its Best of 2015 awards and the company was nominated for the International Opera Awards in London in 2016. The Discoveries series has grown from three to sixteen performances in the past four seasons. In the 2016-2017 season, the company expanded its mainstage season from three to four productions at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The Opera works with world-renowned singers, conductors, directors, and designers who seek to enhance the art form and make it accessible for a sophisticated, 21st century audience. The Atlanta Opera was founded in 1979 and to this day adheres to its mission to enrich lives through opera.

Running time is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes and there will be 2 intermissions.


By Richard Wagner

Libretto by Richard Wagner

Creative Team

Conductor Arthur Fagen

Production Director Tomer Zvulun

Choreographer Meg Gillentine

Scenic and Costume Designer Jacob Climer

Lighting Designer Amith Chandrashaker

Projection Designer S. Katy Tucker


The Dutchman Wayne Tigges*

Senta Melody Moore

Erik Jay Hunter Morris

Daland Kristinn Sigmundsson*

Steuermann Justin Stolz

Mary Olivia Vote*

*Atlanta Opera Debut


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