The Flying Dutchman is a German-language opera, with libretto and music by Richard Wagner.
Wagner claimed in his 1870 autobiography Mein Leben that he had been inspired to write the opera following a stormy sea crossing he made from Riga to London in July and August 1839. The central theme is redemption through love.
Wagner conducted the premiere at the Semper Oper in Dresden in 1843. In Der fliegende Holländer Wagner uses a number of leitmotifs (literally, "leading motifs") associated with the characters and themes. The leitmotifs are all introduced in the overture, which begins with a well-known ocean or storm motif before moving into the Dutchman and Senta motifs.
Wagner originally wrote the work to be performed without intermission – an example of his efforts to break with tradition – and, while today's opera houses sometimes still follow this directive, it is also performed in a three-act version.
Live from Bayreuth recorded in 1985 staring Simon Estes.