A parody of the Flying Dutchman finale

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September 10, 2017 by AK

I’ve been trying to find a YouTube comment that I enjoyed greatly after first reading it, years ago. Only a few months back, I could easily find it but now, no luck. I hope my retelling does justice to the commenter.

The clip was a scene from Wagner’s first mature opera, The Flying Dutchman, or Der Fliegende Holländer (1843), – most likely the ending. (Senta, the heroine, flings herself from a cliff into the sea to save the Flying Dutchman’s soul.) The commenter recalled a scene at a private party in Los Angeles, if I remember correctly, in what I took to be the late 20th century. A rather tipsy lady walked out, bottle in hand, onto a second-floor balcony overlooking a pool, and bellowed forth, completely out of tune: “Preis deinen Engel und sein Gebot! Hier steh’ ich, treu dir bis zum Tod!” The next moment she jumped down into the pool beneath. The commenter was probably the only witness to understand – up to a point, I should add cautiously – the meaning of that flight.

A scene like this would fit naturally in a movie or a novel. I’d be surprised if it had never appeared in one.


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