Every time that Richard Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) has appeared during the history of the Latvian National Opera it has defined the boundaries between legend and reality, past and future, and yet has also led in new directions. Fleeing the difficulties of his time in Riga, sailing off on a risky sea voyage gave the young composer a vision of a new production that was to mark the beginnings of his original style. In the history of Latvian music The Flying Dutchman opened a new and important chapter – with the 1918 production, under the leadership of Teodors Reiters, theLatvju Opera troupe, which evolved into the current Latvian National Opera and Ballet, began its work. And it is with this opera, as interpreted by conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš and director Viesturs Kairišs, that the Latvian National Opera and Ballet begun its second century!
“Richard Wagner fled from a complicated financial situation in Riga, and got stuck in time, in eternity. That time he fled first via land, then onboard a ship. Maybe today he would flee on an airplane. He experienced a storm, but it’s doubtful if he would have liked air pockets any better. And then he saw a reflection. At first it seemed to be a ghost ship helmed by a dead captain, but at closer inspection Wagner recognized himself in the eternally wandering, unhappy adventurer who cannot find peace,” says the director of the production, Viestur Kairish.
“The opera Der fliegende Holländer has had an important place in our repertoire since the very beginning of the Latvian National Opera. Not only because Riga has left a lasting trace on the creation of this opera, but also because it can captivate both the most ardent Wagner fans, as well as afficionados of Italian opera music for whom Wagner’s work is unfamiliar,” says the music director and conductor, Mārtiņš Ozoliņš.