Der Fliegende Hollander
(The Flying Dutchman)

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Music:Richard Wagner
Libretto:Wagner, based on Heine
Premiere:Dresden, January 2, 1843

Wagner based the spooky plot of Der Fliegende Hollander on the legend of a Dutch sea captain who vows to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, even if it takes forever. Condemned by the devil to be endlessly at sea, he may land once every seven years and search for the faithful woman whose true love will be his only salvation. During a furious storm, Norwegian sea captain Daland has taken shelter with his ship when the deathly masts of the Flying Dutchman's vessel loom nearby. Daland agrees that the Dutchman will follow him home to meet his daughter, Senta, who has become entranced by a portrait bearing an eerie resemblance to the Flying Dutchman. At first sight, Senta knows the Dutchman to be the man of her dreams and tears herself away from friends and family to throw herself into the sea as he departs, thus freeing her beloved from the devil's curse and uniting with him for eternity.

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