The legend of the Flying Dutchman:
A Dutch sea captain once desperately attempted to round a cape during a storm. He cursed and swore, "In all eternity I won’t give up!" Satan heard, took him at his word, and doomed him to sail the seas for all eternity. An angel took pity on him and opened a path to salvation: Every seven years the Dutchman would be allowed on shore for one day. If, in that day, he is able to find a wife to be faithful until death, he would be redeemed. If, however, the woman does not keep her vow, she would share his fate of eternal damnation.
On its journey home, the ship of the Norwegian Captain Daland is forced to seek shelter in a small bay. While the crew and Daland rest on board, his steersman stays on watch. Trying to keep himself awake by singing a song, the steersman finally also falls asleep.
by Elizabeth Newton and Candace Evans courtesy of IU Opera Theater
The opera is set in the city of Thebes, Egypt. It is a series of episodes from the life of Akhnaten, Pharaoh of Egypt from 1351 to 1334 B.C.
The opera opens with an orchestral prelude and a reflection on the current conditions in Egypt. We are then introduced to the Scribe, a narrator who will guide us throughout the opera. The Scribe’s opening speech predicts the religious and social changes to come during the rule of Akhnaten.
Pharaoh Amenhotep III has died, and the people of Thebes bid farewell to him and accompany the funeral procession along the Nile.
A few days before Christmas Amahl, a disabled boy, is playing in his bedroom with his toys when his mother calls for him to get ready for bed (Amahl! Amahl!). Playfully she teaches him about not telling lies (O Mother You Should Go Outside; Stop Bothering Me!) before she gets him to bed. Amahl drifts off to sleep (From Far Away We Come)…