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When Daland’s crew first encounter the Dutchman and his sailors, the latter – after the light in the back has turned a strange yellow – come through those doors. In Act II, as Senta sings her ballad, it’s as if the music invokes whatever is on the other side of the doors. Members of the Dutchman’s crew appears and vanish on the other side of the glass, and eventually reappear again, trailing blood. When the Dutchman arrives, he and Senta initially see one another through the doors. She wants out, and he wants in. The boundary is intensified during the revelry that begins Act III. Here, the partiers are all at the rear of the stage, and there is an additional metal screen between them and the Dutchman’s crew, who are seated in the front. As they call to the ghostly crew it’s fairly clear that they are doing something rather dangerous: attempting to penetrate the boundary between the living and the dead.
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