Dutch National Opera presents

Der fliegende Holländer Richard Wagner (1813-1883)


Duration 2:15

By Richard Wagner

Language German

Surtitles Dutch and English


In Wagner’s romantic opera Der fliegende Holländer, both the ghostly seaman – the ‘Dutchman’ – and the captain’s daughter Senta yearn desperately for redemption. The one is doomed to spend eternity sailing a ghost ship, the other is trapped in a stifling world where she does not belong.


Senta’s dream
The French-Canadian director François Girard focuses this new staging on the perspective of the young Senta. Her father is all too happy to marry her off to the highest bidder, trapping her in a small-minded world short on empathy, driving Senta to take refuge in her fantasy about the legendary Dutchman. John Macfarlane’s impressive, ghostly décor comes across as a huge oil painting that comes alive through special effects.

    Fri 31 Jan BACHTRACK - Joana Mallwitz’ Pelléas et Mélisande, 2019, *****

    ‘The score hasn’t sounded this sheerly beautiful since the glory days of Abbado and Boulez’

    Mon 03 Feb Schmopera - debuutalbum Brian Mulligan

    'Mulligan has a thrilling quality in his voice, an open-throated sound that's masculine, honest, and completely appealing; his is an exhilarating balance between constant beauty and a risky edge.'

    Mon 03 Feb Wall Street over Elza van den Heevers in Wozzeck, 2019

    “Elza van den Heever's voluptuous, clarion soprano made Marie a vivid figure, full of desires and regrets."


Joana Mallwitz, conductor of the year

Music director for this production of Der fliegende Holländer is the young German conductor Joana Mallwitz, who in recent years has emerged as a powerhouse in the repertoire of Wagner and Strauss. In September 2019, she was named ‘Çonductor of the Year’ by the leading opera magazine Opernwelt. Shortly thereafter she received an OPER! Award for ‘Best Conductor’. Now she makes her debut at Dutch National Opera, at the helm of The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

The celebrated South African soprano Elza van den Heever makes her role debut as Senta, having appeared earlier in 2020 at Dutch National Opera as Die Kaiserin in Die Frau ohne Schatten (2020). The fantastic baritone Brian Mulligan, who sang Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande, returns to Dutch National Opera for his role debut as Der Holländer.


Der fliegende Holländer

Romantic opera in three acts (1843)

Sung in German


Richard Wagner

Co-production with The Metropolitan Opera (New York), The Abu Dhabi Festival and Opéra de Québec


Team, Cast and Chorus

Muzikale leiding
Joana Mallwitz
François Girard
John Macfarlane
Moritz Junge
David Finn
Peter Flaherty
Carolyn Choa
Serge Lamothe
Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest
Koor van De Nationale Opera
Chorus master
Ching-Lien Wu
Der Holländer
Brian Mulligan
Ain Anger
Elza van den Heever
Benjamin Bruns
Katia Ledoux
Der Steuermann
Omer Kobiljak

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra 
For more than 30 years, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra has been the primary orchestral partner of Dutch National Opera. It is counted among the best opera orchestras of the world. In September 2021, Lorenzo Viotti will become chief conductor of both the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Opera. The Netherlands Chambers Orchestra is under the inspiring leadership of violinist Gordan Nikolić.

In addition to this opera activities, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra both are regular players of The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The orchestras work with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as with a new generation of excellent musicians. The orchestras make classical music accessible to everyone who is open to it. On countless adventurous and unexpected podiums, they bring people together through music and provide an excellent musical experience for advanced and new audiences alike. With its welcoming and open home, the NedPhO-Dome in the ‘Indische Buurt’ in Amsterdam, the orchestras are situated in the heart of the community.

In the 2020-2021 season, The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra will join us for MefistofeleAidaDer fliegende HolländerDie lustige Witwe. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will join us in the pit for Le nozze di Figaro and Anna Bolena.

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
The Chorus of Dutch National Opera consists of 50 singers and is regularly supplemented by freelance chorus members for major productions. The Chorus of Dutch National Opera already has many milestones to its name, including Saint François d’Assise, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Ercole amante, Boris Godunov, La Juive, Les Troyens, Eugene Onegin, Parsifal, Guillaume Tell, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Faust, La forza del destino, Das Floß der Medusa, Oedipe and Tannhäuser, as well as concert performances of Der fliegende Holländer in Rotterdam, Paris and Dortmund and Daphnis et Chloé with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Since September 1, 2014 Ching-Lien Wu is artistic director of the Chorus of Dutch National Opera. Earlier in the 2019- 2020 season, the chorus gave stellar performances in Pagliacci/Cavalleria rusticana, Nabucco and Carmen. In 2016 the Chorus was awarded the title of ‘Best Opera Chorus’ by the authoritative magazine Opernwelt. In the 2020-2021 season the Chorus will sing in Mefistofele, Le nozze di Figaro, Aida, Der fliegende Holländer, Die lustige Witwe, Anna Bolena and La damnation de Faust.



Experts share their thoughts on current productions Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.

Time: 45 minutes before the performance
Location: Odeonzaal; ground floor entrance


Several weeks prior to the premiere of a performance, while the process of creation is still in full throttle, we invite singers, dancers, makers and other experts to share their thrill in creating this production. Sometimes your guide will be a single speaker, at other times other participants will join the discussion; there will always be live dance or music to enjoy, making this a fine way to experience opera and ballet up close. You’ll find the Foyer Evening dates in the calendar overview at the back of this brochure or on our website.

Foyer Evening Der Fliegende Holländer: January 18, 2021, 20.30 at Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Odeonzaal
Time: 60 minutes
Price: € 10, € 7,50 (students, CJP, Stadspas)