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Performance schedule concluded

Sat Oct 19, 2013 730p

Wed Oct 23, 2013 730p

Fri Oct 25, 2013 730p

Sat Oct 26, 2013 730p

Sun Oct 27, 2013 230p



The Flying Dutchman

(Der Fliegende Holländer)
Opera in three acts

Music and libretto: Richard Wagner

Premiere: Dresden, 1843

Running time: About 3.5 hrs including two intermissions

Sung in German with English translations projected above the stage.

The Norwegian coast is the setting for this saga of an ancient sea captain condemned to sail his phantom ship throughout eternity, unless he finds a faithful wife to release the curse. The Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer) is regarded as the start of the mature Wagner canon.




Most spectacular was soprano Lori Phillips with her huge voice, its rich colors and finely woven timbre ringing with luxurious warmth. Her voice dominated the stage. Her Act II ballad — riveting, spine-tingling — proved a high point.

-Opera News




Baritone Thomas Gazheli is blessed with an enormous voice and significant dramatic persuasion. His portrayal was a tour de force.

-Opera News



Elisabet Strid    

Vocally sublime Elisabet Strid ... effortlessly sings this part that demands a great deal of its singer.





Kristopher Irmiter has all the requisites — dashing stage presence, acting ability and solid vocal technique.

-Opera News




Role: Senta
Dates: October 19, 23, 26



Role: Senta
Dates: October 25, 27


Bass baritone
Role: Dutchman
Dates: October 19, 23, 26


Bass baritone
Role: Dutchman
Dates: October 25, 27


Role: Erik
Dates: All


Role: Daland
Dates: All










dutchman_Fri325.jpgNorway, 1700s. An icy storm drives the sea captain Daland's ship miles beyond his home on the coast. As the sky suddenly darkens and the waters again grow rough, another ship, a ghostly schooner, arrives and drops anchor next to Daland's. Its captain, the Flying Dutchman, steps ashore, despairing of his fate. He once swore he would sail around the Cape of Good Hope if it took him forever, and the devil took him at his word. Once every seven years he may leave his ship in search of a woman who will redeem him from his deathless wandering if she gives him faithful, absolute love; failing this, he is condemned to roam the seas until the Day of Judgment. He tells Daland of his plight and offers a reward of gold and jewels for a night's lodging. Then, discovering that Daland has a young daughter, the Dutchman asks for her hand in marriage. Daland, seeing the extent of the stranger's wealth, immediately agrees. Instructing the Dutchman to follow, Daland sets sail for his home port.

At Daland's house, his daughter, Senta, dreamily watches village women as they spin and make sails. They tease the girl about her suitor, the huntsman Erik, but she remains in a trance. Staring at a portrait of the Flying Dutchman, she sings a ballad about the phantom captain. With burning intensity she prays that she may be the one to save him. Erik enters and, after the others have left, asks Senta to plead his cause with Daland. Noticing her preoccupation with the Dutchman's picture, he relates a frightening dream in which he saw her embrace the Dutchman and sail away in his ship. Senta exclaims that this is her own dream as well, and the despairing Erik rushes away. A moment later, the Dutchman himself stands before the girl. He tells her of his sad lot, and she vows to be faithful to him unto death. Daland blesses the union.

At the harbor, the villagers celebrate the sailors' return. They invite the Dutchman's crew to join them but are frightened away by the ghostly crew's weird chanting. Senta soon rushes in, pursued by Erik, who insists she has pledged her love to him. Overhearing this, the Dutchman believes himself betrayed and jumps aboard his ship. As horrified villagers crowd the shore, he reveals his name and nature and sets sail. Senta runs to the top of a cliff, triumphantly proclaiming herself faithful unto death, and leaps into the sea.

-- Courtesy of Opera News

Patron Reviews



October 2013





Marla Donovan — Detroit

Really enjoyed the performance.  The surreal effects were very well done.  The singing was rich and beautiful.  The staging and props had the right look and feel of a cold, North Sea seaport town.  Too bad opening night was also Game 6 of the ALCS in Boston---Tigers' "do or die" night!!


George K. — Ann Arbor

Really fantastic show! Excellent singing and conducting. I am a huge Wagner fan and I'm very picky, and Mercurio conducts one of the best performances I've ever heard. Not rushed and he really brought out the best of Wagner. 
My only complaint is that it was done with 2 intermissions, and it was intended to be done without any. But I guess people can't sit still for 2.5 hours anymore. Beyond that they really pulled off a very entertaining show. Definitely go and see it and support the opera in Michigan!


Bryan L. — Ferndale

What a performance and production to kick off the 2013-14 season.


Don D. — Grosse Pointe

An absolutely must see super performance. No excuses to miss this one!  This is a family event for all ages.


Amy Klundert-Driedger — Essex

Fantastic performance by all! The music was great and the vocals were amazing. An overall pleasurable evening!


Steve M — Northville

The cast was great; the set was awesome - a wonderful use of video and traditional opera props. The music is compelling and for those afraid of Wagner - it is short and without a bad note! This should be seen by all who have any thought of experiencing opera (at its finest)!


Cynthia Webster — Troy

Bravissimo, MOT, for a mesmerizing production of The Flying Dutchman. Not only were the voices strong and rich with timbre, but the acting was well-executed. Beautiful costumes and sets drew us into that time and space. Well done!


Jane — Bloomfield Hills

I stayed in MI 2 extra days just to see the Flying Dutchman.  It was wonderful!!  I felt the cold hard life they all lived in this small town. Voices really made you feel the character.  My guest had never been to an opera.  She was blown away with the production. Think I may have recruited a new opera fan.


Leonard Z — Canton

What great "Dutchman" ["Der Fliegende Hollander"] opera @ MOT! Opening night with Phillips & Ghazheli, all cast & crew BRAVO!


Maria Heller — Warren

Came along with some fellow German women, we were all amazed at the native-sounding German pronunciation from the lead singers (most of whom were not German), the stunning voices of the Holländer and Senta, the production in total.  Was quite wonderful. Thank you, Michigan Opera House.


Lynne — Detroit

This was a wonderful performance. I especially enjoyed Thomas Gazheli.  He did a masterful job of conveying the Dutchman's anguish.  Lori Phillips was also very impressive, wonderful dramatic singing.  The extended duet/scene between Gazheli and Phillips in Act 2 was mesmerizing and thrilling.  Kudos also go to the fabulous MOT Orchestra, Maestro Mercurio, the brilliant MOT chorus and Maestra Acton.  MOT has really been on a roll lately.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.


James — Windsor

Opening night seemed to go without a hitch from my perspective - the Detroit shows I have seen are always very well done.  Wagner's music is very dramatic and makes for a powerful soundtrack - the libretto is developed better than most although I found the general storyline not especially clever - I guess there is not much point in complaining about that aspect 170 years later.  The sets were well done but not especially grandiose.  The overall production was top notch and professional.  Senta was by far the most compelling vocal part and performance. A solid start for the season - If I were to rate it I'd give it 4 out of 5.


Toby Haberman — Birmingham

Boy, was I wrong! I have avoided Wagner's operas, mistakenly believing they would be tedious, too heavy, and lacking dramatic staging. Thank you MOT for opening my eyes, ears and mind.

Saturday night's performance was outstanding. Senta and The Dutchman were superb, with voices rich, strong and filled with emotion. Kudos to the cast and chorus too.

The video projection, sets and great costumes worked beautifully. 

My thanks to Dr. DiChiera for casting such talented artists for this challenging production, to Director Bernard Uzan for his engaging staging, and to Maestro Mercurio and the orchestra for making this musical experience so powerful.

This is a must see.


Sandy C — Roseville

My husband and I had such a wonderful time and loved this performance. The entire production was just fabulous.


Peggy — Detroit

Loved it!

Beautiful music, great acting.  The man who played the Flying Dutchman was AMAZING, as was Senta, the leading lady.  

I'd recommend this opera to everyone.


Brian Stratton — Whitmore Lake

I'm relatively new to the world of opera, but Wagner's operas were what got me interested in it, so I was excited when MOT decided to perform "The Flying Dutchman." I was really impressed with the production, the music and the singing. I especially liked the attention to detail in the sets - the Dutchman's ship is black with red sails just like the libretto describes it. Another thing I really enjoyed was Dr. Peace's "Opera Talk," which was a fun and entertaining explanation of the opera. This was also my first time to the Detroit Opera House, and I  must say this is really a beautiful venue. I will definitely be back to see more operas here. One last thing, maybe this production can open the door to other Wagner operas in the future. I'd love to see Lohengrin at the MOT!


PTB — Ohio

Fine performance!  More Wagner, please!!!


Margaret Raben — West Bloomfield

I've been a season ticket holder for 12 years and this is one of the best operas I've seen at MOT.  Evocative music, fascinating story, tremendous voices, fabulous sets. My first Wagner--now I understand why he's an opera rock star!


Jim Puklin — Detroit

The Flying Dutchman was an excellent production and the singing was terrific. It is about time that the MOT did a Wagner. How about others by Wagner? A great evening with excellent singing and a superb orchestra. MORE Wagner, please.


Dan D. — Rochester Hills

A bravura performance by first class cast, orchestra, chorus, set designers, and on and on. Wagner must be seen live to really feel the psychological tension he portrays. Another great evening at the DOT.


Milton Mutchnick — West Bloomfield

Superb performance and staging.  This is the first time I have seen the Flying Dutchman and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


W. Schmidt — Troy

Outstanding! This is the opera for anyone who enjoys great music combined with outstanding singing. I must also commend the chorus.


Rosie — Harper Woods

Emotional music, great perfomances, beautiful scenery, good story, memorable event.


Jim and Mary Streeter — Ypsilanti

We both thought The Flying Dutchman was outstanding. The sets were very well done and the orchestra was strong. The Flying Dutchman also has a very good story line. We would both highly recommend it.


John Escher — Grosse Pointe Farms

Found it terrific with two serious reservations:  I didn't like the irritating cleverness of modifying Der Fliegende Hollander's portrait to include Senta in the same frame at the very end.  That goes too far in making a gratuitous statement about Senta's psychology, viz., that she is the personification of female vanity in that she wants to BE SEEN with the pale, mythic fellow.  But how can anyone know that?  Maybe she just wants quietly to be with someone more interesting than Erik.

Second, the sewing women's treatment leaves out their essential spinning wheels.  The initial production I saw in Vienna had a large number of spinning wheels in lively, mechanical action appropriate to Wagner's music and spread all over the huge, brightly lit stage.  And what does the language say?  "Humming and spinning."  That means spinning wheels whether they are expensive or not.  Think of "Sleeping Beauty."  Spinning wheels have a mythic quality all of their own.

Also Die Staastoper production I saw had women lying in beds on their backs and waving their legs in unison in the most provocative way.  The wheels and legs spoiled me for future productions that were less about desire.

The waving legs, I will freely admit, may be just as sexist as putting Senta, now unexpectedly superficial and vain, in the same frame as the pale guy.

But Wagner himself and maybe I too qualify as sexist.  In any case I have dreamt of waving legs ever since.


Jack Cederquist — Ann Arbor

I enjoyed the performance and recommend it to all.  The singing and orchestral music were great!  Lori Phillips as Senta is not only a great singer but also draws us in with her acting in Act 2.  The staging of the ghost ship and the video are well done.  I did find the direction in Act 1 static.  I am puzzled by the use of the screen during the second half of Act 3.  Go see it!


Marlene — Bloomfield Hills

An absolutely wonderful treat! I had never seen this opera, and I don't think I ever listened to it in its entirety.  The performers -- voice and instrumental -- were superb.  And the twisted finale gave just the right macabre feel for the season.


Corinne O — Bingham Farms

Fabulous production--the leads, the chorus and the orchestra/conductor
were sensational.  If I was the female lead though, I would have chosen Eryk! I hope that we get another Wagner soon.


Dominic Carlone — Windsor

Excellent production of one of Wagner's most accessible operas. Lovely sets and direction: dark when it needs to be; lively when it needs to be; and fun throughout! Very happy I was able to see this rendition. Now let's see some more Wagner (I'm looking at you, Tannhauser)!


Roland — Istanbul, Turkey

Superb production, world-class leads, beautiful very dramatic staging and as always a solid orchestra performance. Our first time seeing the Flying Dutchman and we loved it!


Harvey Hershey — Farmington Hills

Much better than the previous presentation. The third act had the screen/curtain down too much.  It was difficult to see clearly even though it was effective for the final viewing of the sea conclusion.


Dr. A. J. Utecht — Livonia

My reactions to The Flying Dutchman are highly positive. The voices, the orchestrations, the scenery, the staging, the acting skills of the Company, and all of it pulled together so beautifully and artistically warrant kudos to you all. What a super great Company the Detroit Opera turned out to become. Gratia.


Christine Bock — Romeo

Thank you for a beautiful evening.
Such intoxicating music!
Such mournful voices !
Even I would wait for "The Flying Dutchman"


Andrew — Pontiac

I went expecting it to be good and it exceeded my expectations. The way they told the story was superb. The person that gave the opera talk before hand also did a wonderful job.


Laura — Dexter

Again, the Detroit Opera delivers a difficult complex sublime production.  Solid performers all around.  Again, a crown jewel for Detroit, worth every penny.  And, an opportunity to enjoy young upcoming talent before they become stars.  The set delivered the artistry that is Wagner.


George — Plymouth

My first live Wagner (Friday) - (I'm a Mozart guy). Great staging and beautifully sung (except that Wagner pushes the singers to max volume all the time). In the Trustee Circle the volume of the orchestra tends to overwhelm the singers - beautifully played but too, too  loud! Can't hear the text. In the 3rd act the screen should have been lifted so we could see the ghost crews costumes.


Scott Silveira — Ann Arbor

Great singing and orchestra.  Gave me what I wanted from this work. 

Act 3 was staged peculiarly.  My wife did not get that Senta's choice was a sacrifice--what the Dutchman was singing about.


Dave — Rochester

Wunderbar!  Wonderful!


Tracy Hoffman — Dearborn

The lead soprano was lovely, but the entire performance was very lackluster. There were a number of people that left before the final act. I did like the staging and ship sailing effect, but overall I would give it a C.


Robert — Grosse Pointe Woods

Elizabet Strid was fantastic as Senta on Friday night. Her range, color & tone was perfect and lifted a performance that was already very good. The use of film in the first act to establish the rolling sea & the ships would make Wagner jealous that he didn't have such technology. A few surtitles seemed to be missing here and there but, if true, that was a minor thing. Thanks to the cast, the MOT staff and Ford Motor Company for putting on such a fine production.


Susan — Holt, Mi

Loved it, especially Senta! The orchestra was perfect and the use of multimedia was very effective. Thank you MOT for a grand Wagnerian evening of beautiful music and drama!


Alvin Saperstein — Detroit

A superb opera experience. The singers and the orchestra were great, the staging very imaginative and attention-holding. In general, I'm not a Wagner enthusiast but this performance may force me to change my mind. My only criticism is of the Detroit audience - where were they? There were far too many empty seats for such a magnificent artistic experience. Are we culturally bankrupt as well?


Sharon Finchs — Detroit

Stunning production and performances.

I heard a discussion of the plot on WRCJ a few days ago, and it really added to my huge enjoyment of the evening.

The opening scenery (movie and special effects) during the overture was amazing.  I almost got seasick watching.  

I had never seen a Wagner opera staged.  I have heard segments on Saturday afternoon at the opera over the years, but like another of the reviewers, I had assumed would be heavy, boring, arduous, etc. Boy, was I wrong!

Now I wish that MOT would stage the Ring Cycle, maybe one opera per season.  Dr. DiChiera was totally correct in his remarks that we need to see Wagner. 

Thanks for a fabulous night! Looking forward to the rest of the season!


Debby — Detroit

Excellent venue, wonderful opera. I couldn't wait to see what happened at the end. Thank you.


Ernst W — Rochester Hills

Ein zauberhafter Abend im Theater, ich danke Ihnen!


Kenneth Burney — Sterling Heights

Enjoyed Wednesday's performance so thoroughly, I can hardly wait for my second crack at the production during Sunday's matinee. Looking forward to experiencing the talents of Ms. Strid!

Echoing what others have already expressed: MORE Wagner, please!!! Realistically, one must recognize the limitations that exist prohibiting the staging of the "meatiest" of the Master's work, but surely a Tristan, or a Lohengrin might find a place on "our" stage...

Dreams are, indeed, a wonderful thing.


Laraine — Dearborn

We appreciated the timing of the Dutchman Opera and the All Hallow's Eve approach.  We were surprised that it was just as much a love story as it was about a cursed ship.  We loved/hated how the father was so willing to sell his daughter to a stranger for riches.  The duet with the Dutchman and Senta was fabulous, but much of the music was difficult and dower.  We were not so engaged during Act I but by the end, we loved the whole story.  We liked the interesting treatment at the end of the story.


Richard — Ferndale

Last Spring I thought the production of "Aida" was the best thing Michigan Opera Theatre has done since I began subscribing 20 years ago.

Last night's "Flying Dutchman" blew me away.  

Musically it was magnificent:  the orchestra and chorus (and the chorus is on stage a LOT!) handled their roles with skill and feeling.

The singers were fantastic:  the Act II love duet between the Dutchman and Senta brought me to tears, it was heart-breakingly beautiful, and only the current trend to not interrupt the flow with applause repressed my urge to scream "BRAVO!" at the end of it.

The special effects and lighting effects were tasteful and effective and definitely added to the drama instead of distracting from it:  the way the portrait of the Dutchman shimmered, then faded, depending on Senta's singing, the lighting effects with the ghosts -- sometimes subtle, but when the occasion called for it sudden and dramatic.  The CG on the skrim of the ship at sea was effective and interesting and helped introduce us to the story, and the tender reunion of the Dutchman with Senta in a better place was another well crafted moment.

This was the total package, excellent musicality, excellent singing, excellent theatre, excellent effects & staging (the arrival of the Dutchman's ship, with the black masts and blood-red sails was thrilling).  I only wish more people were in the House to see it.


Carol Gagliardi — Ann Arbor

Absolutely fantastic!!!  Flying Dutchman was the first Wagner opera I have ever seen.  It was so well done that I can't wait to see MOT's next one!


Dietrich Maerz — Richmond

The Michigan Opera Theatre needs to be congratulated for this performance on a world class niveau. Orchestra, singer, the truly outstanding chorus, and the scene setting formed a perfect performance which radiated in the intense moments of the opera an atmosphere which even prompted the multiple candy unpackers to stop - a rare feat indeed!

It is a shame that the performance was not sold out. A lot of empty seats are a visible sign of what the director of the company mentioned at the beginning of the performance: The audience needs to be educated a lot more! There is just more in the musical world than the yearly Nutcracker and the occasional Puccini. And it is true what one elderly lady said in the intermission: "The music isn't too bad!"

Thank You MOT for bringing this wonderful opera with this cast to Detroit!


Monica — Grosse Pointe

I was enthralled with the sets, the music, the costumes and makeup, the huge chorus and, of course, the singing. My first Wagner Opera was certainly a positive experience!


Bess — Bluffton

Last night's performance of The Flying Dutchman was my first live Wagner experience and oh man, did it deliver. I will be raving about it for weeks. Thomas Gazheli and Lori Phillips were IN.CRE.DI.BLE. Orchestra was stunning. Great sound from the chorus. Bravi tutti!! See my twitter (moserbess) for more comments and reactions.


Laura — Rochester Hills

Out of 1-10 it rates a ten.  The scenery well done, the voices great and the orchestra great.


candacemac — Plymouth

Though I'm a Wagner newbie, I truly enjoyed this production. The staging was inventive, the performers were wonderful and, as always, Steven Mercurio and the MOT orchestra were great!! I was joined by a much more seasoned Wagner fan and he loved the show!  Is there more Wagner planned for the future?  Tannhäuser perhaps?


kathyS — Palos Park

We decided to visit Detroit for the opera and the art museum and enjoyed both very much.  The staging, singers and the musicians were excellent.  We will come again for opera and art.


Karrie — Sterling Heights

Not being a big Wagner fan, I admit I was a bit hesitant about The Flying Dutchman. I didn't know anything about it except some of the story which I read online, which very much intrigued me. As soon as the overture started and the special effects showed on the screen I knew this had to be a good experience! Never have I seen MOT do such special effects and the ghost ship was AMAZING!!! I saw the Oct 23rd cast and they were OUTSTANDING, I was blown away. And the orchestra sounded the best I had ever heard them. It was really interesting and intriguing to watch how the opera was being conducted on the closest tv screen near me, nothing I had ever seen before (which another person mentioned as well.) I don't know if this was because of the score or the conductor (I apologize, I don't know any of the conductors.) The sets, costuming and lighting were staged just brilliantly. Everyone did a great job in making this opera/story very spooky!!!  Was so much fun and enjoyed it much more than I thought it would. MOT definitely put their "all" into it!  Keep it up MOT!!!  You have really been on a roll lately! (Which I actually overheard someone say as well!!)  Perhaps it has to do with Dr. D's very awesome announcement. :) I cannot WAIT for La Traviata!!!! It should be EPIC! P.S. Did anyone realize that The Flying Dutchman ended JUST like Swan Lake??? Very interesting...!


Karrie — Sterling Heights

One more thing, it was really hard to enjoy the opera with the noise in the background! Again I attended the Oct. 23rd performance. I sat on the main floor only a few rows back from the orchestra pit, in the same area as usual, and the whole time there was a VERY loud and obnoxious noise that sounded to be coming from the back of the theater somewhere, perhaps up high. Please be aware of this, I don't recall this problem happening before and I've been going here for years. It was extremely distracting and thus took away some of the enjoyment of the opera. I couldn't help but keep looking back and wondering what it was! Was very hard to ignore and concentrate on the opera. It was only when things on stage got loud like the chorus and the orchestra did I find relief. The principle singers didn't sound as loud as the singers usually do on the stage too (which I especially found strange for a Wagner opera,) and now am wondering if it was because of the noise. I don't want this to get in the way and ruin my experience for the rest of the season. :(


David Potter — Ann Arbor

Elisabet Strid was utterly brilliant.  The singing was generally very strong, but she handled the role with great panache.  Mercurio had the orchestra playing superbly.  Even though I am not generally enamored of Wagner, I thought was one of the best performances I have seen in quite some time.


BC — Franklin

The MOT portrays the Dutchman's  tragedy to its morbid conclusion with the faithful Senta joining the Dutchman, proving love can prevail even to death.  This may not be the most appealing thought for all lovers, but the voices and orchestra were simply superb.  The opening projected scenes of the Dutchman's ship on the turbulent seas were brilliant, accompanied by Wagner's wonderful overture, and, along with visions of a maturing Senta, brought me into the opera completely.  I was ready to continue through the entire opera without the intermissions and, though I knew the story, I wanted the action to proceed without having to take a break.  All in all, it was a great evening with a wonderful performance by all.


Dale Briggs — Ann Arbor

It was a great production.


Dutchman Fan — Beverly Hills

Elizabeth Strid was simply magnificent.  Thank you for this beautiful work!


Mary Bragg — Rochester Hills

Very enjoyable.  It had my total attention for the entire performance.


Patricia and William Carter — Plymouth

Excellent performance by all participants!


goo — Sterling Heights

I was happy to see the Dutchman win the girl. I hated driving home dodging drunk Lions fans especially the one that threw a cup out the window...Anyway I felt very entertained.


Gloria — Detroit

I really enjoyed the opera. The music was great and the vocals was impressive. I also like the screen with the projected images.


Esther — Lansing

It was a wonderful experience. I was especially impressed as the Dutchman's ship, with blood red sails and black mast, sailed in beside the Norwegian's ship. The voices were all top notch and appropriate to the story. I felt badly to see too many empty seats. Other opera fans missed a good performance.


Richard Woods — Dexter

Flying Dutchmen was my first opera at the Paris Opera in 1953.  It still is a favorite and MOT confirmed my love for this opera with a great production.
RD Woods


Phil — Cuyahoga Falls

This was my first Wagner Opera and I must say it was great.  I enjoyed the entire production but especially the way the scenes were staged with the see-through screen .  Another wonderful MOT production!


Joyce D. — Waterford

The final performance on Sunday of the "Dutchman" was remarkable.  I loved the whole performance.  Elizabet was outstanding!  The whole cast and orchestra deserve major bravos.


Ann S. — Bloomfield Hills

October 26.

Everything: orchestra, chorus, surreal effects, were just terrific. I especially enjoyed tenor John Pickle as Erik, his singing and acting. Though a shrill voice of Lori Phillips as Senta was pretty irritating.


First timers — Grosse Pointe Farms

Enjoyed the show and the venue.


Matt Matteson — Detroit

I really enjoyed the production on Friday,October 25, 2013. This was my first time seeing the Flying Dutchman.  The orchestra was outstanding led by Steven Mercurio and all of the cast sang and performed marvelously!  However, I was somewhat disappointed with the staging.  I felt it was rather plain and could have used better designed sets.


Mary Andrews — Farmington Hills

WOW is inadequate.

First Among Equals is inadequate.

Perhaps the superlative: Bravissimo will do.

From the moment the magnificent overture began, it was heavenly and heaven sent.

To mix modern media with Wagner's tale was mesmerizing and captivating. The past and future mixing so well.

Was I in my seat, or was I on an unforgettable journey: flying as the Dutchman sailed the vicious seas, struggling to find his salvation?  What a journey!

MOT: You put me in the midst of splendor, color, sound, and pathos.  Glorious to say the least.


Wesley Smith — Detroit

My goodness what an exciting and thrilling opera!  I was like the other patrons who were a little leery about Wagner.  I'd attended one of the "Ring" cycle operas at Lyric Opera and wasn't emotionally invested in that production; but to be fair, sitting in the ultra crows nest didn't help either (lol). At MOT, there's not a bad seat in the house and "The Flying Dutchman" proved to be a gripping performance indeed!!  From, the moment the overture began and the FANTASTIC visuals accompanying it, I became transfixed and mesmerized wondering what was to ensue! The motion picture was so SURREAL - it seemed in 3D! And of course the use of hidden scrim scenes only heightened the anticipation!  The blocking and stage direction was nothing short of spot-on!! The chorus was wonderful; I was delighted that Wagner devoted so much attention to developing spectacular chorus parts. The men and women were very much up to the excitement written in the rousing score! The soloists were very convincing and were never overpowered by Wagner's thrilling score.  His music never stopped delivering. Metaphorically, I felt like I was on a runaway train, speeding toward a sensational climax! Thanks to Dr. DiChiera's programming, I have a new found appreciation for Wagner. This production was an absolute delight!


Julie — Algonac

Enjoyed the performance very much.  Thought the voices of Erik and Senta were magnificent. First act was a bit too long and dull. Overall it made for a very enjoyable afternoon.


Bonnie Bricker — Northville

My husband and I would like to thank you for the wonderful production of The Flying Dutchman.  We saw the Sunday, October 27 performance and couldn't stop talking about it.   We enjoyed the entire production from sets to chorus.  The MOT orchestra played with character and aplomb.  I was impressed by the brass section.  We marvel at David DiChiera's ability to always find the best performers.  Kristopher Irmiter and especially Elisabet Strid were exceptional.  Everyone in the cast appeared to enjoy this production as much as we did. We hope the MOT can mount another Wagner opera in the near future. We are looking forward to the rest of the 2013-14 opera season.

Thank you, Bonnie and Les Bricker


Linda L. — Detroit

Awesome Production! Set pulled you right into the Drama.  The Cast singing made you feel the emotion. BRAVO!!!


Linda — St. Clair

Wonderful performance!  Staging, costumes, singing were great. Had never seen this opera before and throughly enjoyed it.


Tamara Ross — Banff

The voices were strong as was the orchestra.  I liked the sets and projections. My only critique would be that some of the directorial choices were very traditional and others a bit odd (the scene where chorus is trying to wake the sailors on the ship or the ghost sailor movements were odd).  I am constantly disappointed by the 'stand and deliver' staging that is still too often used.  You could have so much fun with the ship, sailor and true love themes but didn't.  Chorus moves in group together instead of randomness onstage, soloists stand and sing then move and stand and sing.  Even the coming together of the Dutchman and his true love was so anti-climactic (he just kisses her hand). The use of sets and stage was unusual at times (ghost sailors enter from opposite side of stage from where the ship is).


Beverley Pack — White Lake

The voices and the acting were excellent.  The special effects at the end of the opera were outstanding.  I thoroughly enjoyed the production.


Margaret Stark — Bloomfield Hills

Since I was born in Germany I particularly looked forward to this production. It was wonderful! The projection of the storm-tossed ship during the overture was an outstanding touch, and the voices as well as the staging were great as always. Thank you for bringing us these memorable evenings.


Patti — Westland

Flying Dutchman was not my favorite opera, I like action, whether dramatic or comedic.  Dutchman is a little sleepy for my taste, but the singing, as always at the DOH, was beautiful. Worth seeing, or rather hearing, but once is good.  Looking forward to next month.


F. J. Papp — Ann Arbor

An amazingly beautiful, spell-binding, and emotionally touching performance.  It was well worth the drive from Ann Arbor.  Too bad that the radio audience was only able to experience half of this beautiful work.  I hope that Detroit Opera will do many more of Wagner's Music Dramas!  Please!!!  All the best, FJP


Patty Emmendorfer — Midland

We wanted more. This being Wagner we expected better. Set design was disappointing, we wanted the music to tell the story not a screen with water. Vocals were good but could not help the slow presentation of Wagner's early work.



The 2013-2014 Fall Opera Season
is made possible by
Ford Motor Company