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Opera: Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman

Venue Date & Time Price
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$900, $660, $450, $300, $150

An Opera in 3 Acts

A Production of Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg

Performed in German with Chinese and English Surtitles

About the Programme

Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman is a fascinating opera in many ways.  A relatively early work of the German composer, it established the course of Wagnerian music drama that was to culminate in The Ring, 35 years later.  The plot tells the story of the haunted ghostly Dutchman and his crew, condemned to sail the seven seas until he can be redeemed by pure love.  This he finds in Senta, daughter of a Norwegian sea captain, whose devotion, even to death, brings final salvation.  In his opera Wagner uses various themes and motifs associated with characters and ideas in the drama, a technique he was to develop further in later works.  The Dutchman himself is represented by a famous horn motif, heard first in the Overture, leading to music that conjures up the sea and the ghostly ship with its eerie crew, a contrast to the girl Senta, first seen spinning with her companions.  The forthcoming production staged in October brings to Hong Kong an acclaimed production of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg, directed by the revival director Volker Böhm.  World-class international singers take up the highly demanding major roles while the Hong Kong Philharmonic will be in the pit, under the baton of Henrik Schaefer with the participation of the Opera Hong Kong Chorus.


Act I

In a heavy storm, a ship is seeking shelter on the coast. It is a Norwegian ship; its captain’s name is Daland.  He orders his crew to sleep for the night, and even the steersman, who is supposed to be on watch, falls asleep.  Suddenly a second ship lands at the coast, ancient-looking, with ragged red sails.  Daland has heard some uproar. He is alarmed and comes on deck.  He sees the unknown captain, also a strange-looking character, who explains to Daland that he is a homeless Dutchman. He offers Daland great treasures in return for accommodation in Daland’s house.  He asks the Norwegian whether he has a daughter and if he could meet her. After being shown the Dutchman’s treasures, Daland invites him to his house

Act II

In Daland’s house, all the girls except Senta, Daland’s daughter, are spinning for their dowry.   Senta, however, is standing in front of several pictures showing the Flying Dutchman, an outcast, a heretic.  While standing in front of these pictures she sings the ballad about the Flying Dutchman’s fate: once he had tried to sail around a cape; he had cursed God and was therefore condemned to sail the seas for all eternity, unless he can find the true love of a pure woman. For the rich young Senta this appears a highly desirable fate. Senta’s suitor Erik enters with the news that Daland’s ship is arriving.  Being a mere huntsman, he does not appear to be a suitable son-in-law for Daland and thus he tries to extort a promise of marriage from Senta herself. When she is evasive about this subject, he tells her about a dismal dream he had: he saw her vanishing over the sea with the Dutchman.  Daland arrives with the stranger and leaves him and Senta alone in the room. They both recognize that they are secretly meant for each other.  But suddenly the Dutchman realizes that he does not want the girl to sacrifice herself for him.


The Norwegian ship and the ship of the Dutchman both lie in the harbour, but there is no sign of life on board the foreign ship.  The girls offer drinks to the Dutch crew, but nobody answers to their calls. They invite the Dutch crew to celebrate the safe return of Daland’s ship with them, but the only answer from the Dutchman’s ship is a ghostly chorus.  When Senta’s engagement with the stranger is about to be celebrated, the huntsman Erik, rejected and enraged, provokes a scandal.  Even though Senta shows her deep feelings for him, the Dutchman abandons all hope of salvation.  He goes on board his ship again and gives orders to leave.  He obviously does not want to bring disaster on her. She is the one who could save him from his fate, but he cannot see her sacrificed.  He does not want her sacrifice, he would rather sacrifice himself.  Thus he discovers what he has never known before and why he had to roam the earth all those years: love instead of salvation.

About the Performers


Warren Mok

Revival Director

Volker Böhm


Henrik Schaefer

Main Cast

The Dutchman (Baritone)

Jukka Rasilainen(1)(3) / Thomas Hall(2)(4)

Senta (Soprano)

Manuela Uhl(1)(3)(4) / Jane Dutton(2)

Daland (Bass)

Kurt Rydl(1)(2)(3) / Gong Dongjian(4)

Erik (Tenor)

Tomislav Mužek(1)(3) / Kor-Jan Dusseljee(2)(4)

Mary (Mezzo-soprano)

Ning Liang

Steersman (Tenor)

Carsten Süss(1)(3) / Karl-Michael Ebner(2)(4)

Hong Kong Philharmonic

Opera Hong Kong Chorus

(1)10/10   (2)11/10   (3)12/10   (4)13/10


Opera Hong Kong

Artistic Director: Warren Mok


Opera Hong Kong was founded in 2003 and it is the first opera company in Hong Kong.  The company is committed to the mission of enhancing the appreciation of the art of opera in Hong Kong, nurturing and promoting local music talents.  Under the artistic direction of Warren Mok, MH, the internationally acclaimed Hong Kong tenor, Opera Hong Kong has produced many concerts and operas including Samson et Dalila, La Traviata, Turandot, Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro, Roméo et Juliette, Aïda, Werther, Don Carlo, The Magic Flute, Manon, La Bohème, Dr. Sun Yat-sen and La Traviata.  Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus were established in 2004 and 2008 respectively and they are becoming recognized forces in the local choral scene.



Warren Mok


World-renowned Hong Kong tenor Warren Mok has been making frequent guest appearances in many leading opera houses throughout the world.  His operatic repertoire exceeds 60 roles including Calaf in Turandot, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Radames in Aïda and many others.  In recent years, Mok is very active in the promotion of western opera and music in the Mainland and has established Opera Hong Kong.  He is currently the Artistic Director of the Macao International Music Festival and Opera Hong Kong.  Mok was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2011, World Outstanding Chinese Award in 2010, and both Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (Knight of the Star of Solidarity of Italy) by the Government of Italy and Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Art and Letter) by the Government of France in 2008.  In 2012, Mok joined the China’s Three Tenors world tour together with Dai Yuqiang and Wei Song to promote Chinese cultures to the world.



Volker Böhm

Revival Director

Volker Böhm graduated with his musical training from the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, where he immediately worked as a lecturer for both opera and drama education.  With his staging experience as assistant at theatres in Salzburg and Augsburg, he was appointed as Scenic Director of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf-Duisburg in 2006, and has been promoted as Director from 2009 onwards.  He continued his educational work on opera development at the Junior Ensemble of Deutsche Oper am Rhein and the Robert Schumann Hochschule Dusseldorf.  Böhm was invited as director for prestigious festivals including Salzburg Mozart Festivals, Vienna Baroque Festival and Bavarian Music Summer.  He directed Hänsel und Gretel at the Theatre piccolo Würzburg, Scènes de la Vie de Bohème at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and Bastien und Bastienne at the Theater Salzburg.  At Deutsche Oper am Rhein, his productions include Zar und Zimmermann, The Magic Flute, Der Klein Schornsteinfeger, and most recently Die Arche Noah.



Henrik Schaefer


Currently a chief conductor of the Wermland Opera in Sweden, Henrik Schaefer has a successful opera career with highlights of his productions including The Marriage of Figaro in Leipzig and Göteborg, Eugene Onegin in Chemnitz, Faust in Seoul, Parsifal and La Bohème in Karlstad, Così fan tutte and Les Dialogues des Carmelites in Den Haag, and The Magic Flute in Hedeland and Göteborg.  The Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Wermland Opera in 2011 was an amazing success that received overwhelming praises and visiting audiences from the world. He is a regular guest with the great symphonic repertoire with notably Norrköping Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Holland Symfonia, BBC Scottish, Osaka Philharmonic, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Orchestre de I’Opera de Rouen, Sapporo Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony and many others. As Claudio Abbado’s assistant from 2000 to 2003, Schaefer was on stage with the Berlin Philharmonic for operas Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal and Falstaff, as well as Mahler and Bruckner symphonies.



Jukka Rasilainen

The Dutchman / Baritone

Born in Finland, Jukka Rasilainen made his debut in Flensburg in the title role of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.  He was invited for the role subsequently in many productions including Vienna State Opera, State Opera Unter den Linden Berlin, German Opera Berlin, Saxon State Opera Dresden, Bayreuth Festival, Tokyo, Opera Festival Savonlinna and the Wagner-Festival Wels.  In 1992 he debuted at the Saxon State Opera Dresden, and with a residential contract he participated in 10 new productions and 19 other repertory productions in Dresden. He was Iago in Otello, Scarpia in Tosca, Escamillo in Carmen, Wotan and Wanderer in new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the National Opera Finland, and was Amfortas in Parsifal at the Opera de Montpellier, of which the role he sang at Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Plácido Domingo as Parsifal.  In 2004, he received the title Kammersanger (Singer to the Court) at the Saxon State Opera from the Free State of Saxony.



Thomas Hall

The Dutchman / Baritone

A former professional French horn player, Thomas Hall started his singing career at the age of 27 and made his European debut as Telramund in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Savonlinna Opera Festival of Finland. His performance was highly praised; the Finnish newspaper Aamulehti said he had ‘physical activeness and powerful singing’.  He was invited to return to Savonlinna in 2012 to sing the title role of The Flying Dutchman.  His repertoire includes the title role in Rigoletto, Il Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore, Germont in La Traviata, Don Carlo di Vargas in la Forza del Destino, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, Carlo Quinto in Ernani and The Bonze in Madama Butterfly.  In recent years he made his appearances with prestigious organizations including the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Grant Park Music Festival. Other recent engagements include the title role of The Flying Dutchman with both Torino and Teatro Comunale di Bologna, and Jochanaan in Salome with both Opera Australia and Den Norske Opera & Ballet of Norway.



Manuela Uhl

Senta / Soprano

The 2013 schedule of German soprano Manuela Uhl includes Rienzi and Lohengrin at Deutsche Oper Berlin, world premiere SehnsuchtMeer by Helmut Oehrings and Die Walkure in Düsseldorf, Rienzi in Rome and Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Since 2006/07 season, she has made regular appearances at Deutsche Oper Berlin for Alberto Franchetti’s Germania, Zemlinsky’s Traumgörge, and Weber’s Der Freischütz, and for the role of Freia in Das Rheingold, the title role of The Cunning Little Vixen, Chrysothemis in Elektra, Nedda in I Pagliacci and Danae in Die Liebe der Danae.  As Salome, Uhl opened the International May Festival Wiesbaden in 2008 and was highly acclaimed in Montpellier. In Tokyo she debuted in Beethoven’s Leonore.  Highlights of her performances include Elisabeth in Tannhäuser in Copenhagen, Chrysothemis in Elektra in Baden-Baden under Christian Thielemann and Munich, Marie/Marietta in Die tote Stadt in Madrid, as well as the title role in Iphigenie in Aulis in Leipzig.



Jane Dutton

Senta / Soprano

Acclaimed for her ‘irresistible force and passion’ and her ‘rich and sonorous’ sound, Jane Dutton has made regular appearance in many top opera houses in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Gran Teatre el Liceu, Los Angeles Opera, English National Opera and San Francisco Opera. She has performed under leading conductors such as maestros Levine, Runnicles, Ozawa, Conlon and Weigle.  She was Amneris in Aida and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at English National Opera, where she was highly praised for her role debut as Kundry in Parsifal.  With her successful European debut at the Gran Teatre Del Liceu in Barcelona as Anne Boleyn in Henry VIII, she has been re-engaged regularly for productions including Norma, Pique Dame, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly and Arianne et Barbe-Bleue.  She was Senta in The Flying Dutchman at Indianapolis Opera in May 2013.  Dutton graduated from Indiana University with both her Bachelor and Master of Music, where she studied with famed Wagnerian Margaret Harshaw.



Kurt Rydl

Daland / Bass

Born in Vienna and studied in Vienna and Moscow, Kurt Rydl is considered one of the greatest bass singers in the century.  His first operatic engagements were in Linz/Stuttgart in 1972-1977.  He was awarded the title of Kammersänger in 1986, Honorary Member of the Vienna State Opera in 1999 and the Austrian Medal of Honor for Art and Science in 2001. Rydl's operatic repertoire comprises more than 80 roles in German, Italian, French, Russian and Czech works.  He has performed in the most renowned opera houses worldwide.  His concert repertoires range from Mozart to Penderecki and from Beethoven to Mahler.  He has performed to acclaimed success at world-class music festivals in the world for opera including Bayreuth, Bregenz, Edinburgh, Munich, Salzburg, and Verona. Rydl has performed with leading renowned conductors as Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Sergiu Celibidache, Carlo Maria Giulini, Christoph Von Dohnányi, Marcello Viotti, Herbert Von Karajan, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.



Gong Dong Jian

Daland / Bass

Gong Dong Jian has played major roles with renowned opera houses, and arts and music festivals across Asia, Europe, and North and South America. He has performed in about 50 productions in, including the Vienna State Opera, Berlin Opera, New York City Opera, Berlin Festival, Paris Autumn Festival, Munich Biennial Arts Festival and Edinburgh Festival. His repertoire includes the demanding roles of Verdi, and the operas by Mozart and Rossini. In May 2008, he was invited by the Chinese Government to sing the leading role in Mozart's Requiem with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus. The shows were performed in the Vatican City, Venice and the Golden Hall in Vienna for Pope Benedict XVI.



Tomislav Mužek

Erik / Tenor

Born in Siegen, Tomislav Mužek won the First Prize at Ferruccio Tagliavini Competition in Austria in 1999.  From 2000 to 2002 he was a resident artist of the Bremen Theater. In recent seasons, he sang The Flying Dutchman at Bayreuth Festival, The Magic Flute in Berlin, La Traviata in Vienna, Così fan tutte in Florence, and Moïse et le Pharaon conducted by Riccardo Muti for the opening of season of La Scala.  In 2012 his performance as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Bayerische Staatsoper of Munich was a huge success to great critical acclaim.  His other repertoires include La Bohème, Der Rosenkavalier, Lucia di Lamermoor, Eugene Onegin, Salomé, Elisir d’amore, Das Rheingold, Faust, Clemenza di Tito, Idomeneo, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Beethoven’s IX Symphony and many others.



Kor-Jan Dusseljee

Erik / Tenor

Graduated from the Academy of Utrecht in the Netherlands under the tutelage of German baritone Udo Reinemann, Kor-Jan Dusseljee won great acclaim for his series of Otello performances at Semperoper Dresden in 2009/10.  He was further honored for his debut role of Herman in The Queen of Spades at Komische Oper Berlin by audiences and critics alike, where renowned German newspaper Berliner Morgenpost described his performance ‘an unfailingly solid tenor-voice’ for the difficult role.  He was immediately invited for the same role at Teatro Regio Torino. Highlights of his other performances included Lohengrin, La Forza del Destino, Rusalka, The Tales of Hoffmann and Fidelio in Braunschweig, Aïda in Aachen, Wozzeck in Essen, and Der Freischütz and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Komische Oper Berlin. Future engagements include Otello in Tel Aviv, Lohengrin in Opernahus Zurich and Ariadne auf Naxos in Toulon.



Liang Ning

Mary / Mezzo-soprano

One of the pre-eminent mezzo-sopranos on the international scene, Liang Ning has appeared in many of the world's leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and the Bavarian State Opera, among others.  Roles she has performed included Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, and the world première of Tan Dun's The First Emperor.  She has also collaborated with Giuseppe Sinopoli, Riccardo Muti and Sir Colin Davis. Liang was a winner of many competitions, including the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.



Carsten Süss

Daland’s Steersman / Tenor

Since his debut at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, Carsten Süss has made his appearances on many German and international stages including Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Kassel and Nuremberg and at the opera houses of Strasbourg, Cagliari, Graz, Frankfurt, Dresden and Cologne.  As a renowned guest at the Frankfurt Opera, he performed in the German premiere of the opera The Tempest by Thomas Adès and the title role of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring at the 35th Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte Montepulciano, both directed by Keith Warner. Other repertoires included Tamino in The Magic Flute, Malcolm in Macbeth and Guido Bardi in Zemlinsky’s Eine Florentinische Tragödie directed by Udo Samel.  At the Cologne Opera, he appeared as David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and as Loge in Das Rheingold. In 2013 Süss debuted in the role of Rienzi at Theater Krefeld, followed with Teatro dell’opera di Roma, where he was Florestan in Fidelio in 2012.



Karl-Michael Ebner

Daland’s Steersman / Tenor

Born in Austria, Karl-Michael Ebner was a soloist with the Vienna Boys’ Choir before studying oboe and singing at the Academy for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.  In 1990, he studied Singing, Lied and Oratorio at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz. He is the Artistic Director of the Steyr Music Festival and director of the Stadttheater Bad Hall.  He made his debut at the Landestheater Linz as part of the International Bruckner Festival. He was Monostatos in The Magic Flute at Covent Garden, Munich, St. Margarethen Festival, Macau and Catania; Andrès / Cochenille / Frantz / Pitichinaccio in The Tales of Hoffmann in Palm Beach, Munich and Vienna; Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro in Monte Carlo; Mime in Das Rheingold in Dublin; Spoletta in Tosca in Toulon; Jaquino in Fidelio in Valencia; Bucklige in Die Frau ohne Schatten with Zubin Mehta in Florence; and the first Jew in Salome in Turin and Vienna.


In case of indisposition or other unexpected circumstances, artists maybe replaced at a short notice.



Tickets available from 9 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on internet and by credit card telephone booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).

10% discount for Opera Hong Kong Members, Opera Hong Kong Chorus Members and Friends of Opera Hong Kong.

Group Booking Discount

10% discount for every purchase of 10 – 19 standard tickets; 15% for 20 or more standard tickets.

‘Verdi & Wagner Year’ Package Discount

For each purchase of standard tickets for Opera: Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Dresdner Philharmonie (23/10 Concert), Dresdner Philharmonie (24/10 Concert) and Opera: Verdi's Rigoletto: 5% off for 2 programmes, 10% off for 3 programmes, 15% off for all 4 programmes.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

Programme Length

Running time of each performance is about 2 hour 30 mins with an intermission of 20 minutes


Programme Enquiries:2268 7321 (LCSD) | 2234 0303 (OHK)

Ticketing Enquiries:2734 9009

Telephone Credit Card Booking:2111 5999

Internet Booking:www.urbtix.hk

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

Opera Talk(Conducted in Cantonese)

Speaker: Prof. Rupert Chan

From Damnation to Immortality – Wagner's Dutchman.

Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis

Venue Date & Time Price
Activity Room 2, Hong Kong Central Library
Free Admission


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