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A satanic curse. Fair maidens dancing. A lonely man wandering the windy wilds for all of eternity. Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman would make an awesome Manowar album, or at the very least an excellent early U2 video. Unfortunately for fans of short-form entertainment, it’s a two-hours-and-change opera, performed, per the composer’s instructions, without an intermission. In German. So poseurs, consider yourselves winnowed out; hardcore Wagnerites will be keen to see how the Washington National Opera will steer this New York City Opera production. Director Stephen Lawless told the New York Times before the NYCO’s maiden voyage in 2001 that because of budget constraints, the company preferred to focus on the emotional nature of Wagner’s work rather than on spectacle. Combined with all the tympanic thunder you’d expect in the tale of a sea captain condemned to sail until he finds the love of a good woman, maybe going easy on the visuals is the right approach.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, 2700 F St. NW. $45–$300. (202) 467-4600.