• 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
Zachary James Immigration Officer View Website
David Neely Conductor View Website
Kristine McIntyre Director View Website
R. Keith Brumley Scenic Designer
Jonathan Knipscher Costume Designer View Website
Brittany Crinson Makeup and Hair Designer


Act I

In the airport, all of the characters are en route somewhere, except for the Controller, the Refugee, and the Immigration Officer. The Refugee cannot leave the airport because he does not have a passport or other documents to allow him to enter the country legally. The Immigration Officer looks for the Refugee in order to arrest him. Married couple Bill and Tina are going on holiday to try to get their relationship out of its routine with the help of a sex manual. The Older Woman, appearing in disguise, has come to the terminal to wait for her "fiance"—a younger man that has promised to meet her. Minskman is a diplomat relocating for an assignment, and his wife, Minskwoman, is pregnant and on the brink of childbirth. The Stewardess and Steward, when not serving the customers, enjoy a vibrant physical relationship. At the last minute, Minskwoman is afraid to fly, and Minskman goes to his destination without his wife. The Flight Controller warns of approaching storms. The Older Woman's fiance has not arrived, and Bill and Tina prepare to depart. As Act I closes, all of the characters are suddenly delayed and stranded at the airport because of the inclement weather.

Act II

The time is during the night, just after the storm has "gotten worse" and grounded all the planes. After all the characters have gone to sleep, Bill, in an attempt to break out of his "predictable" nature, makes a pass at the Stewardess, but is shocked to find the Steward instead. The two of them agree to venture up to the heights of the control tower. The Flight Controller grapples with the lack of planes and verbally assaults the storm outside her tower. The Refugee tries to insinuate himself with the various women and gives them (at various points throughout the act) each a "magic stone" that he says will cure their individual travails. The women toast their good fortune and drink with the Refugee. Eventually, as the storm builds, the drunk women realize that the Refugee has given them all the same "magic stone" and turn on him in a fit of rage, knocking him unconscious and concealing his body within a trunk. Up above in the tower, Bill and the Steward engage in an explorative sexual affair.


It is dawn; the storm has cleared, and every character reels from the events of the previous night. The controller announces the sudden arrival of a plane. Minskman has returned suddenly on the first available flight back, unable to continue without his wife at his side. When Tina learns of Bill's sexual encounter, she is enraged and angrily strikes him with the sex manual, knocking him unconscious as well. The Minskwoman suddenly goes into labor and delivers her baby in the terminal, just as the Refugee awakes from the trunk. The characters, with the insight of newborn life, reflect on the problems in their lives and offer forgiveness to each other for their wrongs. The Immigration Officer finally catches up with the Refugee. The passengers divide into two camps, one demanding the arrest of the Refugee, with the other trying to persuade the Immigration Officer to "review the situation". The Immigration Officer is implacable, citing the need to observe the rules. The Refugee then tells his story, which explains why he has no documentation. His story touches the passengers, and also the Immigration Officer. The officer says that the Refugee cannot leave the terminal, but also that he will "turn a blind eye" and not arrest him.

With the storm cleared, Minskman and Minskwoman, with their new baby, fly to his new mission. Tina, taking the opportunity to start fresh with her husband Bill, go to their respective vacation destination. The Older Woman decides to venture out on a flight herself. The Steward and Stewardess make amends, each working on their respective flights. The opera ends with an enigmatic inquiry from the Controller to the Refugee.

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