The Flying Dutchman


The Dutchman is doomed to wander the seas until he can find a faithful wife. A sailor’s daughter is doomed to an arranged marriage, but can’t shake her obsession with The Dutchman. Can true love change the course of their fates?

This new production brings the ancient ghost story to the stage in a new and modern way to delight audiences with stunning visuals.

General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun will direct this never-before-seen grand production. Music Director Arthur Fagen will conduct. Jay Hunter Morris reprises his role as Erik, Wayne Tigges will sing the title role of the Dutchman, and Melody Moore, last seen on the main stage in 2012 as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, is Senta.

Performed in German with English supertitles

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

This production of The Flying Dutchman is sponsored in part by the Gramma Fisher Foundation.

Additional support provided by Dr. & Mrs. Alexander Gross, and The Home Depot Foundation.



All Performances: Pre-show fine dining
$55 for Sat, Tues, Fri dinner
$42.50 for Sun brunch

Opera’s Night Out

Friday, Nov 10: Young professionals enjoy a pre-show cocktail hour + ticket to the show
$40 for Under 40

Student Rush Tickets

All Performances: Students with ID may purchase discount tickets two hours in advance at the Cobb Energy Centre
$25 – 35 per seat

Final Dress Rehearsal

Thursday, Nov 2: Teachers with students may attend the final dress rehearsal for FREE
Apply here


All Performances: Save up to 25%
For groups of 10 or more

Get the Feeling of the Show

Pre-Opera Talk by Carter Joseph


Composer: Richard Wagner
Librettist: Richard Wagner
Premiere Date: January 2, 1843

A raging storm from which the Dutchman’s theme emerges. As the storm calms, Senta’s peaceful theme is played on woodwinds and horns.

Act I – A rocky seacoast
Daland’s ship has dropped anchor, and as they furl the sails, the Norwegian sailors chant Hohohe! Hallohe! Daland, who has been ashore to reconnoiter, appears to announce they have been blown seven miles off course. He tells the crew to get some rest. As the Steersman keeps watch, he sings of seeing his girlfriend again after surviving the terrible storm (Mit Gewitter und Sturm — Through thunder and storm). He falls asleep.

Once more the storm begins to rage and a red-sailed ship, the “Flying Dutchman”, appears. In silence the sails are furled and its captain, the Dutchman, comes ashore. In a long monologue (Die Frist ist um — The time is up), he explains how a curse has forced him to sail continuously, able to come ashore only once every seven years to seek redemption. He has often sought death by plunging into the sea or driving onto reefs but to no avail. Was the angel who won him a means of deliverance only mocking him? His only hope is the coming of the Day of Judgment.

Daland, from the deck of his ship, sees the Flying Dutchman, hails its master, and asks if his ship was also damaged in the storm. The Dutchman tells him a little of his story and offers Daland a rich treasure if he will shelter him in his home. He then asks if the Norwegian captain has a daughter. When the answer is in the affirmative the Dutchman asks if she might be his wife, offering all of his treasure in return. Daland greedily agrees. When the weather permits, the two ships sail off toward Daland’s home.

Act II – Daland’s house
The wall is dominated by a large portrait of a pale man with a dark beard and in black clothes. A group of young women spin and sing of their lovers’ return (Summ und Brumm — Whir and whirl). Senta, Daland’s daughter, sits dreamily to one side and gazes at the picture. Mary, Senta’s nurse, asks her to join the group, but she does not hear. When the other girls tease her about being in love with the handsome young hunter Erik, she finally reacts and angrily tells them to stop their stupid song. She asks Mary to sing the ballad of the Dutchman, but the nurse refuses. Senta sings it herself, and we learn more of the story of the Dutchman. Desperately attempting to round a cape during a storm, he had cursed and sworn, “In all eternity I’ll not give up!” Satan heard, took him at his word, and doomed him to sail on forever. An angel took pity on him and promised redemption if he could find a wife willing to die for him. Senta cries out that she wants to be that wife.

Erik appears, having overheard her last outburst, and is terrified for her. He announces that Daland’s ship is approaching. He pleads with Senta to overcome her infatuation and relates a dream in which he saw two men on shore, her father and a stranger, the Dutchman (Auf hohen Felsen lag ich träumend — I lay dreaming on the lofty crag). He saw Senta throw herself at the Dutchman’s feet, ardently kiss him and sail out to sea with him. Senta hears nothing, she is mesmerized by her vision. Erik rushes off in horror.

Daland and the Dutchman enter and her father bids Senta make the Dutchman welcome. She recognizes him as the man in the picture and, while Senta and the Dutchman stare at each other, Daland tells his daughter of the stranger’s offer, showing her the jewels he has been given (Mögst du, mein Kind — Would you, my child). Seeing that the two are interested only in each other, Daland leaves. In a long duet, both express wonder in the fulfillment of their dreams. Senta tells him she is always obedient to her father; she will marry him and hopes to be the means to his redemption. He tries to warn her of the danger she faces, but she is adamant; she will save him. Daland returns to ask if the welcome home feast can be combined with a betrothal. Once more Senta vows to be true until death.

Act III – A bay with a rocky shore with the two ships and Daland’s house in the background 
The sailors on Daland’s ship are celebrating (Steuermann, lass die Wacht — Steersman, leave your watch), but the Flying Dutchman is dark and silent. As the girls and women arrive with food and drink, they call to the dark ship offering them some refreshment. When there is no answer, the men remark on the resemblance between the strange ship and that of the Dutchman, telling the girls not to wake the crew members for they are ghosts. The townspeople finally give up and start to feast. Soon there are signs of stirring on the Dutchman’s ship and, although it is calm everywhere else, a storm comes up around it. Its ghoulish crew sings of the curse and asks if the captain is back with a wife. The two groups of sailors start a singing match, but the Norwegians give up and, making the sign of the cross, leave their ship. The Dutch crew laughs and then falls silent.

Senta runs from the house followed by Erik. How could she forget her vow to him and pledge herself to someone she has never met? She tries to make him stop (she is obeying a higher duty), but he reminds her of the day she swore her eternal faith to him (Willst jenes Tag du nicht mehr entsinnen — Don’t you remember that day…). The Dutchman overhears and, thinking her promise to him was not sincere, cries out despairingly that he is lost. He says farewell and orders his crew to make ready to sail. Senta tries to stop him, but he releases her from her vow. He tells her he is saving her from an awful fate; he is the “Dutchman” (Erfahre das Geschick — Learn the fate). If she had sworn before God she would be damned, but as she only swore to him, she is free to break her vow. But Senta has known his story all along. As Erik and the others plead with her, she throws herself into the sea crying, “Hier steh´ ich treu dir bis zum Tod!” (Here I stand, faithful to you until death). The Flying Dutchman sinks and Senta and the Dutchman are seen rising to Heaven in each other’s arms.

Courtesy of San Diego Opera’s Operapaedia

A First Timer’s Guide

The Opera Experience

Operas on our mainstage are grand theatrical experiences. You can always expect the unexpected, and for our productions to be presented at the highest quality.


Many operas are in a foreign language. Supertitles are similar to subtitles in a film, except they are projected above the stage. These translations will help you follow what’s happening on stage.

What to Wear

There is no dress code at The Opera and you will see everything from jeans to evening gowns and formal suits. Most people use it as a chance to enjoy dressing up in their own style.

Arriving in Good Time

If you are late, you will be escorted to the nearest late seating area. At intermission ushers will show you to your seat. Plan ahead to arrive with extra time.

Directions & Parking at Cobb Energy Center

Enhance Your Visit

Pre-Performance Talk

Learn about the history of the opera, the composer, and more from artists and opera aficionados. One hour prior to curtain. Free with your ticket!

Learn More

Familiarizing Yourself with the Story

Because of the foreign languages, classical music, and often complex plots, you will very likely enjoy the performance better if you spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the story and characters in advance. Some people even like to listen to the music in advance and others prefer to let it wash over them during the show and perhaps look it up afterwards.

Visit our Study Guides Library

How is an Opera Staged?


Actors first audition for roles up to a year in advance, or for more experienced artists, directors also invite them to play a role.


Most of the rehearsals are held in our rehearsal hall, and not the actual theatre. The conductor begins orchestra rehearsals about a week and half before opening night. They have four rehearsals with the conductor, and then the singers are added into the mix.

Sets & Costumes

The Atlanta Opera Costume Shop alters the costumes to fit our singers. Sometimes they do have to make costumes if there aren’t enough, or if there is nothing that fits, etc. Once the sets are in place, the cast begins rehearsing at the theatre. The Opera production staff works with staff at the theatre to get all of the lighting and technical aspects of the production together.

Sitzprobe & Dress Rehearsal

The orchestra comes together with the singers in a special rehearsal called sitzprobe. There are no costumes during the sitzprobe, this is mainly to hear the voices with the orchestra. There is a piano dress rehearsal, when the singers rehearse in full costume for the first time so they can get used to wearing them. Finally, all of the pieces are put together for two full dress rehearsals leading up to opening night.

Characters & Cast

The Dutchman

Ghost Captain cursed to roam the seas and only come ashore once every seven years to find a wife.

Wayne Tigges

Quickly establishing himself as one of the bright young stars in opera today, Wayne Tigges has sung at many of the great opera houses of the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Paris Opera.


Daland’s daughter whose interest in the Flying Dutchman grows into obsession.

Melody Moore

American soprano, Melody Moore, “has a vulnerability that is heartbreaking to watch” and a “rich, mellow tone” that is “achingly intense” according to critics writing of her performances from Hawaii to London.


A huntsman, Erik is the former boyfriend of Senta and still pines for her love.

Jay Hunter Morris

A veteran of the operatic and concert stages, Morris’ 2016-17 season began with a revival of one of his greatest roles, including Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick at the Dallas Opera.


A sea captain and Senta’s father.

Kristinn Sigmundsson

Lauded by the Financial Times for “His tone dark and his dynamic range…all reinforced by a trace of gravitas,” Icelandic bass Kristinn Sigmundsson makes his Atlanta Opera debut as Daland.

Costume & Set Design


Richard Wagner
(1813 – 1883)

Richard Wagner molded opera according to his own creative definition with revolutionary zeal. Consequently, his innovations in melodic structure, harmony, characterization and orchestration have inspired awe among audiences and music professionals alike for over a century. Impressionist and expressionist composers have spent most of this century struggling to overcome his influence, rebelling against him. Wagner was a man who lived in capital letters and bold print, a study in superlatives: huge creative canvases, legendary feuds and hatreds, gigantic depressions and losses, enormous successes, and passionate romantic liaisons. His music represents the dynamic and incandescent final flowering of romanticism.

Egocentric from childhood, Wagner began at age twenty to record details of his personal and creative life in a series of journals, all in anticipation of drafting an extensive autobiography in later life. He never seems to have doubted his destiny or his own titanic genius. At first, Wagner fancied himself a writer and planned a career in the literary world, drafting a ghoulish drama, Leubald  which killed off forty-two characters in the first four acts, with some returning as ghosts in the fifth.
Read More

Attendance at performances of Weber’s Der Freischutz and Beethoven’s Fidelio  turned his attention toward a lifelong obsession with operatic composition. With his mother’s encouragement, he undertook the serious study of music, an academic process peppered with bouts of drinking, dueling, and gambling. Wagner’s father, at least in name, was Karl Friedrich Wagner, a police court clerk who died while his son was in infancy. In recent years, evidence gathered would indicate that Wagner’s biological father was actually Ludwig Geyer, a talented painter, dramatist and actor. Geyer married Wagner’s mother shortly after she was widowed.

He introduced his love of literature, art and theater into the household. Although Geyer died while Wagner was only eight years old, the stepfather’s influence had an indelible effect on the boy.

Wagner’s earliest works, two orchestral overtures, were completed in 1829 and received scornfully. A spare six months of formal music education came from Theodor Weinlig, cantor of the Thomasschule, in 1831. Those studies culminated in the composition of a Wagner symphony which was well-received in Leipzig and Prague. He began work on an opera Die Hochzeit , and tossed it aside unfinished, then completed a full operatic work Die Feen , which was destined not to be performed until five years after the composer’s death.

He undertook a series of conducting posts with small, sordid operatic companies, and there built the instinct and skills which would forge his colossal vision of musical drama. In 1836, Wagner married Minna Planer, an impulsive act he almost instantly regretted. Although mediocre, the union lasted until 1862.

Wagner struggled to establish himself in opera in Paris, living on the verge of starvation, from time to time imprisoned for his debts. Minna took in boarders. His preliminary sketches of the operas Rienzi  and Das Liebesverbot were rejected by producers despite introductory letters from Giacomo Meyerbeer. Wagner staggered briefly under the humiliation, then turned to a new concept, The Flying Dutchman, and although impoverished and unknown declared himself victorious at its completion in 1841. He was not far from wrong. La Rienzi  opened in Dresden in 1842 to enormous acclaim. A triumph followed the next year for The Flying Dutchman, in the same city.

Wagner became Kapellmeister of the Dresden opera and should have realized financial security at last. However, he continued to live far in excess of his means, accumulating impossible debts. Within the five years which followed, he had completed Tannhauser  and Lohengrin. However, Lohengrin, which he considered his greatest effort to date was rejected by Dresden opera and, in anger, Wagner turned to revolution. He wrote handbills sympathetic to Dresden rioters who were creating a growing insurrection in the state of Saxony. When the revolution failed, Wagner was forced to flee to Paris.

During the thirteen years of Wagner’s exile, Lohengrin was presented in Weimar and was received tentatively just as Tannhauser had been. However, in the decade which followed both operas were embraced by German audiences. In fact, by the time his exile ended in 1860, Wagner was one of the few Germans who had never witnessed a performance of Lohengrin.

Years of high living had nearly bankrupted Wagner when, in 1864, the newly-crowned eighteen year old King Ludwig II became the composer’s devoted benefactor. Wagner produced Tristan and Isolde, Meistersinger, Das Rhinegold, and Die Walküre, in the five years between 1865 and 1870. However, his enormous persuasive influence on King Ludwig placed Wagner at the mercy of warring political factions who demanded the composer’s allegiance. Wagner refused all of them categorically. His refusal to engage in intrigue, combined with his involvement in a scandalous affair with the married daughter of Franz Lizst, Cosima von Bulow, drove Wagner from Munich. Wagner had indulged in numerous romantic liaisons in the past. However, in this case he had fathered a child whom his betrayed friend, Cosima’s husband Hans von Bulow, graciously accepted as his own. Cosima and Wagner acknowledged von Bulow’s discretion by naming the girl Isolde.

Once more in exile, Wagner continued receiving financial support from King Ludwig at a retreat near Lucerne, Switzerland. And, when his legal wife, Minna, died in 1866, he at last married Cosima.

The final years of Wagner’s life were dedicated to completion of the gargantuan music project – The Ring – which was to combine all the noblest forms of Art in its presentation: innovative melodic structure, ambitious orchestration and instrumentation, intensely dramatic characterization and evocative sets. His concept was immense: an orchestral, vocal and theatrical portrayal of the legendary struggle between gods and men for control of the earth. This compelling mythological drama would be presented over consecutive days in a series of four sequential operas: Das Rhinegold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung.

And to that end, he also undertook the construction of his concept of the perfect operatic performance facility at Bayreuth. When the theater opened for the first full performance of The Ring cycle on August 13, 1876, the event was attended by the luminaries of the musical world including Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Grieg, and Liszt. Tchaikovsky noted, “Whether Wagner is right in pursuing his idea to the limit, or whether he stepped over the boundary of aesthetic conventions which can guarantee the durability of a work of art, whether musical art will progress further on the road started by Wagner, or whether the “Ring” is to be the point from which a reaction will set in remains to be seen. But in any case what happened in Bayreth will be well remembered by our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.” And so it has been.

Wagner died suddenly of heart disease in 1883, having been seriously debilitated by his efforts at premiering his final work, Parsifal. He was buried in the garden of his home Wahnfried, at Bayreuth to the music of “Siegfried’s Death.”

Courtesy Arizona Opera Virtual Opera House

ARCHIV - Der Komponist Richard Wagner (Archivfoto von 1877). Nach groflem Wirbel um die Besetzung der Titelpartie beginnen an diesem Mittwoch (25. Juli) die Bayreuther Festspiele mit der Oper ´Der Fliegende Holl‰nderª. dpa/lby (nur s/w,zu dpa-Themenpaket vom 23.07.2012)  +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++


Arthur Fagen


Arthur Fagen has been the Carl and Sally Gable music director at The Atlanta Opera since 2010, and continues to be in great demand as a conductor of symphony and opera both in Europe and the United States. He is a regular guest at the most prestigious opera houses, concert halls, and music festivals at home and abroad, and his career has been marked by a string of notable appearances including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Staatsoper Berlin, Munich State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the New York City Opera.

A former assistant of Christoph von Dohnanyi (Frankfurt Opera) and James Levine (Metropolitan Opera), he served as principal conductor in Kassel and Brunswick, as chief conductor of the Flanders Opera of Antwerp and Ghent, as music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, and as a member of the conducting staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Fagen was born in New York and studied with Laszlo Halasz, Max Rudolf (Curtis Institute) and Hans Swarowsky. Fagen has an opera repertoire of more than 75 works and has recorded for Naxos and BMG. The recent Naxos recording of Martinůs works was awarded Editor’s Choice in the March 2010 issue of Gramophone Magazine.


Production Director

Tomer Zvulun


General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera since 2013, Tomer Zvulun is also one of opera’s most exciting stage directors, earning consistent praise for his creative vision, often described as cinematic and fresh. His work has been presented by prestigious opera houses around the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, the opera companies of Seattle, San Diego, Dallas, Boston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Buenos Aires, Wexford, New Orleans, Minnesota and Wolf Trap, as well as leading educational institutes and universities such as The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Boston University, and IVAI in Tel Aviv. His debut in New York was in a new production of L’heure espagnole and Gianni Schicchi at Juilliard Opera Center that was praised by The New York Times for its “witty, fast-paced staging and the director’s Felliniesque style.”

Known for creating innovative, visually striking new interpretations for standard operas as well as championing new works by contemporary composers, his work has been seen internationally in Europe, South and Central America, Israel, and the US. Recently he created critically acclaimed new productions of Semele (Seattle Opera) Lucia di Lammermoor (Seattle, Atlanta, Cleveland), La bohème (Seattle, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Atlanta), Lucrezia Borgia (Buenos Aires), Gianni Schicchi (Juilliard, IVAI Tel Aviv), L’heure espagnole (Juilliard), The Magic Flute (Cincinnati, Atlanta, Indiana University), Don Giovanni (Wolf Trap, Cincinnati), Die Fledermaus (Dallas, Kansas City), Falstaff (Wolf Trap, Des Moines), Rigoletto (Boston, Atlanta, Omaha), Madama Butterfly (Atlanta, Castleton Festival), Tosca (National Theatre Panama, Atlanta) and Dialogues of the Carmelites (IVAI Tel Aviv), among many others.

Read More

His passion for producing new works by living composers was realized in the acclaimed European premiere of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night at Wexford Festival Opera in 2014. The production won two Irish Times Awards and will be remounted at The Glimmerglass Festival and Washington National Opera.
In 2015-16 he created a new production of Soldier Songs (David T. Little) as a part of the award-winning Discoveries Series in Atlanta in a production that traveled to San Diego Opera. He then went on to create an acclaimed new production of Dead Man Walking that marked his return to New Orleans Opera. This was his second collaboration with composer Jake Heggie following his new production of Three Decembers at Boston University.

Some of his upcoming projects include the world premiere of the new opera Dinner at Eight (Bolcom) at Minnesota Opera, followed by the European premiere at Wexford Festival, new productions of Maria de Buenos Aires and Der Fliegende Holländer in Atlanta, a new Giulio Cesare for the Israeli Opera (Acco Festival), a new Eugene Onegin at Kansas City and a revival of his acclaimed production of La bohème in Dallas.

Since taking the leadership in Atlanta he increased the operations of the company from 12 to 26 performances per season, while stabilizing the financials. Some of his noted achievements include launching the successful Discoveries Series, a program that presents new contemporary works and rarely done operas in alternative venues, creating the first young artist program in the company’s history, and doubling the company annual fundraising.

His work at The Atlanta Opera earned the company an international reputation by earning numerous awards and prizes, including a nomination for the 2016 International Opera Awards in London, the selection of the acclaimed Discoveries Series in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Best of 2015 list, and his recent nomination for the 2016 Atlanta Luminary awards.

As a stage director, he made his debut in Atlanta with a critically acclaimed Der Fliegende Holländer in 2009, a production which led to a series of memorable new co-productions with sister opera companies including The Magic Flute, Lucia di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, La bohème, and Romeo and Juliet.

During his 7 years at the Metropolitan Opera, Tomer has directed revivals of Tosca and Carmen, and worked on a number of new productions, most notably La rondine, La traviata, La fille du régiment, Iphigénie en Tauride, and Manon. Tomer was born and raised in Israel, served as a medic in a combat unit in IDF, attended the Tel Aviv Open University and The Harvard Business School executive program.

TZ New Headshot 2013