Riga This Week - FREE RIGA CITY GUIDE made by locals since 1992

Der fliegende Holländer

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, the Latvju 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 begins its second century!

“Wagner, fleeing Riga by boat, became stuck in time. This ship, forever stuck in this mythical time, has once again stopped where it started. Time and space – Riga. Maybe it’s the wreck of a ship washed up on some lonely beach; maybe it’s an airplane that has crashed in the desert. What’s important is that the Dutchman has returned to the city where Wagner went from Kapellmeister to composer,” says the director of the new production, Viesturs Kairišs.