Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Johannes Stermann and a chorus of shirtless men in Der fliegende Holländer

Johannes Stermann and a chorus of shirtless men
The Theater Magdeburg current run of Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer not only features the imposing barihunk of Johannes Stermann as Daland (in his role debut), but it opens with a chorus of shirtless men. That's the kind of "Gewitter und Sturm" we like on our open seas!

Stermann was born in Hamburg where he was a member of Hamburger Knabenchor St. Nikolai. He studied singing at the High School of Music and Theatre Munich and at the University of Music an Performing Arts Vienna. He has been a member of the ensemble of Theater Magdeburg since 2012 where he has performed the Gran Inquisitor in Verdi's Don Carlo, Osmin in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, King Marke in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde), among other roles.

Johannes Stermann and a chorus of shirtless men
Wagner based his opera on Heinrich Heine's satire "The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski," in which the narrator watches a performance of a fictitious stage play on the theme of the sea captain cursed to sail forever for blasphemy. In Heine's version the idea that a man can only be redeemed by the love of a faithful woman is presented as ironic humor, however Wagner took this theme literally and Senta must be faithful until death.

Other cast members include Vladimir Baykov as the Flying Dutchman, Liine Carlsson as Senta, Jonathan Winell as the Steersman, Timothy Richards as Erik and Lucia Cervoni as Mary. Performances of Der fliegende Holländer run through May 11th.

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