• Saturday JUNE 30 7:30 PM
  • Sunday JULY 8 2:00 PM
  • Tuesday JULY 10 7:30 PM
  • Friday JULY 13 7:30 PM


Flight is an opera bustling with the endless possibilities of air travel. Inspired by the true story of a refugee stranded for 18 years in the Charles de Gaulle airport, eight strangers find themselves stuck overnight together in an airport due to a sudden and severe electrical storm. Whether seeking to rekindle a marriage on the rocks, start a new career or pursue a holiday romance, Flight's characters remind us of our constant human need to recreate ourselves and our relationships.

Jonathan Dove’s inventive score and dramatist April de Angelis’ deeply human libretto create an original modern-day operatic comedy and a breakthrough theatrical experience.

Jonathan Dove

April de Angelis

24 September 1998
Glyndebourne Opera

English (with English supertitles)


Licensed by arrangement with C.F. Peters Corporation, New York




John Holiday Refugee View Website
Audrey Luna Controller View Website
Zulimar López-Hernández Tina View Website
Andrew Bidlack Bill View Website
Theo Hoffman Steward View Website
Sofia Selowsky Stewardess View Website
Elise Quagliata Minskwoman View Website
Norman Garrett Minskman View Website
Deanne Meek Older Woman View Website
Zachary James Immigration Officer View Website
David Neely Conductor View Website
Kristine McIntyre Director View Website
R. Keith Brumley Scenic Designer
Barry Steele Lighting Designer View Website
Jonathan Knipscher Costume Designer View Website
Brittany Crinson Makeup and Hair Designer


Act 1

The Flight Controller watches the skies; the Refugee watches the goddess-like Flight Controller who looks with scorn upon the reckless hurry of the mortals beneath her. A strange relationship develops between them: he is fascinated by her and by the skies she controls, she finds him the only interesting person among her passengers, chiefly because his is an illegal alien with a mystery of his own – and is not going anywhere.

People start to arrive: Bill and Tina hope to enliven their marriage with a second honeymoon; and Older Woman is meeting a much younger lover who will arrive on Wednesday – but which Wednesday? Two flight attendants, always crossing the world on their different routes, seize every opportunity to advance their torrid affair. The neurotic and pregnant wife of a diplomat on his way to Minsk at the last moment finds it impossible to take off with her husband. The prowling Immigration Officer is a constant threat to the Refugee.

Act Two

(That night)

An electrical storm is raging; the Controller announces that all aircraft are grounded. The storm rages in the hearts of the passengers as well, as relationships build and clash. The storm rages in the heart of the passengers as well, as relationships build and clash. The Controller, unable to control the weather, can hardly control her own frustration.

The Refugee tries to calm the women in his own strange way, giving each a “magic stone” which he promises will solve all their problems. The Flight Attendants try to contain the rising tensions by carrying out the duties they would have performed in the air. Eventually everyone settles down to sleep. This is the cue for Bill, accused by Tina of being insufficiently adventurous, to attempt an illicit relationship of his own which turns out to be not quite as expected.

Act Three

(The next morning)

The skies are clear again, but tempers are still frayed and feelings hurt as various contretemps are revealed by the light of day. The Minsk Man returns just as his wife gives birth to their child. Bill’s peccadillo is exposed and Tina knocks him unconscious with the Book she hoped would revitalize their marriage. When he regains consciousness he has lost his memory; she seizes he opportunity to find a new way (not found in the Book) for them to start over.

The Immigration Officer finally catches up with the Refugee, who is only saved from deportation when his personal story is revealed to all.

The Music

“It can be summed up in one word: charm. Dove writes music that is tuneful, tonal and tangy. And it is sensationally orchestrated. In short, it’s instantly beguiling.”

-Richard Morrison, The Times


Flight is that rarest thing, a popular new comic opera… Dove’s music flies, the opera is fun, and people are going to love it.”

-Tom Sutcliffe, The Evening Standard