What they said about “The Flying Dutchman”

The last performance of our Singapore-made Flying Dutchman was successfully staged on Sunday 30th October, with the international cast. The singers have since flown home. What’s left are warm memories, nice compliments from friends n colleagues in the theatre world; … Continue reading What they said about “The Flying Dutchman”

Chatting with Eva Wagner-Pasquier

Mrs Eva Wagner-Pasquier, the great-grand-daughter of Richard Wagner, is visiting Singapore from 21 – 24 October in conjunction with the first-ever staging of a Wagner opera in Singapore – “The Flying Dutchman”.  Eva, who is the Ambassador of the Bayreuth … Continue reading Chatting with Eva Wagner-Pasquier

“The Flying Dutchman” Legend

When Wagner worked on one of his operas, he drew upon existing stories and re-shaped them. This was certainly the case with “The Flying Dutchman”.

When Wagner was a young man, almost all trade and travel by sea was in sailing ships. The hazards of a life on the ocean wave were well known: storms, rocky shores, and being becalmed far from land, with supplies running out. Sailors told tales of shipwreck, accidents, strange creatures emerging from the sea, islands that, once sighted, could not be found again, and ghost ships. It was perhaps from sailors’ tales that the legend of the Flying Dutchman grew.

The legend is first mentioned in writing in 1790, but thereafter, the story was told and retold, often with new details added. In all the early versions, “The Flying Dutchman” was a Dutch ship, not a person. According to the most widely told version of the story, though the wind was against him, its captain vowed to take his ship round the Cape of Good Hope or be damned for eternity. His words were heard by the Devil, and, when he failed to round the cape, he was condemned to sail the seas for evermore.

Sailors thought that a sighting of the ship was a bad omen. It looked dark and sinister.
Continue reading ““The Flying Dutchman” Legend”