A Dutch sea captain is only allowed ashore with his ghostly ship once every seven years to find a woman who may lift his curse by swearing eternal love to him. He sails into a Norwegian port and finds just the woman: Senta. Wagner pulled out all the stops in his retelling, also in the capacity of librettist, of the ancient legend. The music is rocked by the sound of waves as soon as the curtain rises, a sound that grows louder and louder wrapping itself around each word and character. The story of sacrifice and death unfolds breathtakingly among raging monologues, dizzying duets, rousing choruses and accompanied by a large orchestra that acts as a full-fledged player in the drama. Wagner conducted the premiere at the Königliches Hoftheater Dresden, Germany, in 1843.
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