As far as most operas go, Flight is exceedingly young. Only eighteen years old, Dove’s first opera is considerably younger than most members of the audience—this is not the case for, say, a Mozart classic. Commissioned by the Glyndebourne Opera, Flight premiered to the world on September 24, 1998 with the company’s touring opera. Its professional (non-touring) premiere was held the following year on the mainstage of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. On June 8, 2003 Flight made its first appearance in the U.S. with a new production at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and has since been staged in numerous American cities, including Boston, Pittsburgh, and Austin. This April 21 & 23, Flight will make its first appearance on the Omaha stage.
In this modern-age comic opera, Jonathan Dove’s tells the story of a group of disparate travelers who meet at an airport with shared departure plans but hidden personal desires. Their flights are canceled due to a violent electrical storm and they get trapped in an airport overnight. As the storm rages, facades are dropped, secrets are revealed, and anxiety levels rise. The lives of these one-time strangers turbulently collide as they shed inhibitions to confront personal desires, hopes, fear and each other…all with hilarious, touching and unexpected consequences.
Did You Know?
Librettist April De Angelis found some inspiration for her plot in the life of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, a refugee who lived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for 17 years. Several of the events surrounding Nasseri were also used in the Spielberg film, The Terminal.
Unlike more traditional operas which feature a handful of stars supported by a large chorus, Flight is written for an ensemble cast of only ten vocalists.
Flight is the product of a question posed by one-time Glyndebourne General Director Anthony Whitworth. Could Dove create a Marriage of Figaro for the 1990s?