Young and Wagner

Young and Wagner showcases the stage design proposals by Latvian students for The Flying Dutchman. The opera, its creative impulses, and the facts from Wagner’s biography have intertwined into a dense sum of motifs which served as a source for the students to inspire from. Is there anything new about Wagner which we could highlight or present the Quadriennal viewers with? What unites such different scales: that of the student with that of the great Wagner?

The head of the department, professor Mārtiņš Kalseris says: "We, the witnesses of the first stage of Wagner's story, salute you, Wagnerists of the world. The man you know as the great Wagner used to live and work here, in Riga, before he fled, left without paying, we howl through the eternal storm that divorces us from the fame of Wagner’s later life after the escape and survival. For me, the fateful storm overwhelmingly tends to symbolize the birth of a genius, which in turn makes Riga, the city this side of the Baltic sea, into a dark and mythical womb. We wave hello to you from the darkness of this pitch-black cave, rejoicing in the unique role Riga played in Wagner’s fate, hoping to surprise Wagnerists of the world, provided they can still hear us through the storm. Because the storm Wagner luckily survived is still raging on, as it will forever, and the only way to bridge the sea is to stage The Flying Dutchman and to seek for new design solutions."

The world-famous German composer, essayist, and opera reformer Richard Wagner spent two years from 1837 to 1839 living and working in Riga. When he was fleeing Riga the composer’s ship got into a storm on the Baltic sea, and this emotional experience would later inspire him to write The Flying Dutchman.

Country/Region Latvia

Curator Andris Freibergs

Curatorial Team Monika Pormale

Artists Students of the Department of Stage Design Art Academy of Latvia

photo Authors collective