NZ Opera

The Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner

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Brooding. Boundless. Haunting.

The Flying Dutchman, a cursed sea captain, sails his phantom ship across the world’s oceans. Only true love can save him and every seven years he is allowed one night to venture ashore in search of the right bride. The Flying Dutchman was only Wagner's second opera to be successfully staged but its brooding tension, boundless energy and haunting melodies ensure it is still a firm favourite today.

Duration: Two hours and 40 minutes (including a 20 minute interval).

The Cast

This co-production with Opera Queensland stars Jason Howard as The Dutchman, Christchurch-born bass Paul Whelan as Daland, and Irish soprano Orla Boylan as Senta.

The Story

Off the Norwegian coast, a community of women are yearning for the return of their men. But Senta is obsessed with a different passion - she fantasises about the myth of the Flying Dutchman, and longs to save his tormented soul. When her father, Daland, is caught out in a storm at sea, he catches sight of the blood-red sails of the Dutchman’s ship and invites the stranger home, never dreaming of the captain’s true identity.

Accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus

Sung in German with English surtitles

A co-production with Opera Queensland

*contains nudity.



October 5—12

ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

  • Saturday 5
  • Tuesday 8
  • Thursday 10
  • Saturday 12
Pre Show Talks

10, 12 October 6.30pm; 8 October 5.30pm
Air New Zealand foyer, Level 5, Aotea Centre

Opera Exposed & Friends Night

8 October from 5.30pm


September 14—21

St James Theatre

  • Saturday 14
  • Tuesday 17
  • Thursday 19
  • Saturday 21
Pre Show Talks

9, 21 September 6.30pm; 17 September 5pm
Hospitality Suite, 1st Floor Gallery, St James Theatre

Opera Exposed & Friends Night

17 September from 5pm

The Flying Dutchman DLE flyer

The Flying Dutchman DLE flyer


Jason Howard Orla BoylanPaul WhelanPeter AutyShaun DixonWendy Doyle

Jason Howard The Dutchman

Orla Boylan Senta Read bio

Paul Whelan Daland

Peter Auty Erik

Shaun Dixon The Steersman

Wendy Doyle Mary

Orla Boylan

Background: Born in Ireland. Won a Helpmann award for her performance of Procne at the Perth International Festival in the world première of Richard Mills’s Love of the Nightingale in 2007. Opera repertoire: Gutrune: Götterdämmerung (Opera North); Miss Wingrave: Owen Wingrave (Opéra de Nancy); Senta: The Flying Dutchman (NZO, ENO, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra); Chrysothemis: Elektra, Ellen Orford: Peter Grimes (West Australian Opera); Sieglinde: Die Walküre (ENO, Opéra National du Rhin); Aufseherin: Elektra (Salzburger Festspiele); Elisabeth: Tannhäuser (Teatro Communale di Bologna); title role: Arabella, Ariadne: Ariadne auf Naxos, Danae: Die Liebe der Danae (Garsington Opera); Tatyana: Eugene Onegin (Baden-Baden, Paris); title role: Jenůfa, title role: Káťa Kabanová (Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Hamburg, Oper Köln, Opéra de Lyon, Glyndebourne Festival Opera); title role: Iolanta (Opera Holland Park); Lisa: Pique Dame (Komische Oper Berlin, Opera North); Madame Lidoine: The Carmelites (ENO); Governess: The Turn of the Screw (Angers-Nantes Opéra); Female Chorus: The Rape of Lucretia (ENO, New York City Opera). Concert appearances: War Requiem (Perth International Arts Festival, APO); Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Gürzenich-Orchester Köln); scenes from Wozzeck (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra); Vier letzte Lieder (Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Hallé Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra); Capriccio final scene (Orchestre National de France).

Orla Boylan


Wyn DaviesMatthew LuttonZoe AtkinsonJon Buswell

Wyn Davies Conductor

Matthew Lutton Director

Zoe Atkinson Production Designer

Jon Buswell Lighting Designer

Press Releases
The Flying Dutchman actor auditions - Auckland
The Flying Dutchman actor auditions - Wellington
Artists assemble for bold new production