Meet the Cast behind The Flying Dutchman

We are less than a month away from the premiere of The Flying Dutchman, the new production from OperaUpClose, in partnership with Manchester Camerata. A stunning cast of four opera singers, an eight-piece instrumental ensemble, and recorded community choirs from across the UK tell the haunting story of an island nation struggling with its identity in a world of displaced people. You can be among the first to be moved and inspired by this gripping musical tale before it tours across the country.

Discover more about the star-studded cast, ahead of performances between Wednesday 28 June-Saturday 1 July.

Pauls Putnins – Mariner (The Dutchman)

‘He believes that there is no longer hope of redemption – neither from death, nor true love, nor heavenly mercy.’

Latvian born Pauls Putnins was a member of Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir. After studying conducting in Riga and Jerusalem, he subsequently studied singing at the Trinity College of Music, London.

Putnins’ appearances in opera include Colline/La bohème (ENO, Opéra de Nancy), Raimondo/Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Colorado, Denver and Russian National Orchestra, Moscow), and Escamillo/Carmen (New Zealand Opera, Blackheath Opera). Opera appearances in the UK include Nettuno/Idomeneo and Armoured Man and Priest/Die Zauberflöte (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Nettuno/Idomeneo and Angelotti/Tosca (ENO), Don Fernando/Fidelio (Garsington), and Imperial Commisioner/Madama Butterfly and Ramfis/Aida (Royal Albert Hall). In Longborough’s current Wagner Ring Cycle, Pauls has so far sung Fasolt/Das Rheingold and Wanderer/Siegfried.

Pauls also has an international concert career and has sung with orchestras including the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel, Moscow and Bucharest Philharmonics and Russian National Orchestra.

Philippa Boyle – Starlight (Senta)

A young woman called Starlight has grown to sympathize with the plight of the Migrants, simply by imagining their ruined lives and terrible journeys.

Soprano Philippa Boyle has been very active in the UK and is quickly establishing herself in the German and spinto repertoire. Winner of the Emmy Destinn Award for Czech opera and song, Philippa trained in Rome at Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia and Opera Studio Santa Cecilia, where she studied with world-renowned soprano Renata Scotto. Prior to her studies in Italy she was a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge.

Philippa previously performed for OperaUpClose as Elizabeth 1st (Donizetti Maria Stuarda). Other opera engagements include Leonora di Vargas (La Forza del Destino), Jenifer (Tippett A Midsummer Marriage) for Regents Opera, and the title role in Puccini’s Tosca for King’s Head Theatre. She has also performed for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Other projects this season include a highly acclaimed recording of vocal works by Elisabeth Lutyens with organist Tom Winpenny for Toccata Classics; Verdi’s Requiem with the London Mozart Players at the Royal Festival Hall and with East Anglia Chamber Orchestra in Ely Cathedral, Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall.

Timothy Dawkins – Captain Dee (Daaland)

‘The Mariner tells Captain Dee his story, and the Captain obviously thinks he is mad.’

Timothy Dawkins, a graduate of the Royal College of Music and winner of the Eric Vietheer Award
at Glyndebourne, is highly regarded as an operatic singer with a broad repertoire.

Most important opera credits have included Ashby La Fanciulla del West, Sparafucile Rigoletto, Angelotti Tosca, Badger/Parson The Cunning Little Vixen, Haushomeister Capriccio and Surin The Queen of Spades Grange Park Opera, Simone Gianni Schicchi, Talpa Il Tabarro and Il Commendatore Don Giovanni and Superintendent Budd Albert Herring English Touring Opera and Aldeburgh Festival.

Current and future plans include Doctor Grenvil La Traviata, Zweiter Gefangener Fidelio, cover Lieutenant Ratcliffe Billy Budd and cover Hobson Peter Grimes Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Truffaldino Ariadne auf Naxos Longborough Festival Opera, Don Profondo Il Viaggio a Reims English Touring Opera and cover Dikoy Katya Kabanova Opera North.

Carolyn Holt – Helm/Mari/Erik (Steersman, Mary/Erik)

‘Mari tells Starlight of an ominous dream she had…’

Mezzo Carolyn Holt, praised for her ‘effortlessly effusive vocal power’ (The Stage), is from a farming background in Ireland. In the 2022-23 season, for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, she performed the role of Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia, covered the role of Mrs Sedley in Deborah Warner’s 5-star production of Britten’s Peter Grimes, and returns to cover the role of Margret in Deborah Warner’s production of Wozzeck, conducted by Antonio Pappano. Elsewhere in the UK, she was seen as Mrs Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for Garsington Opera, to great critical acclaim – Opera Today wrote ‘Her voice shone with a maturity perfectly matching the role.’

Her previous engagements in the UK include the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking in Glasgow, for which Opera Magazine wrote: ‘Carolyn Holt’s Sister Helen was impeccably sung, sensitively acted and never less than sincere’, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, and she looks forward to performing as Minskwoman in Opera Collective Ireland’s production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight in 2023.

She was the winner of the Dermot Troy Prize for the best Irish singer in the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. She is invited regularly as soloist with choral societies throughout the UK and Ireland where critics acclaim her ‘wonderfully dark, rich tone’.

Book your ticket to see The Flying Dutchman here

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