Go ahead, name an opera in Dutch. Stumped? Well, here’s The Children of the Sea, by the largely forgotten Lodewijk Mortelmans, who has been called “the Flemish Brahms.” This, his magnum opus, received its first and last theatrical airing in Antwerp in 1920. We are promised a late-Romantic score rich in nature painting and deft in its use of that Wagnerian staple, the leitmotif. Set in the 17th century, it tells of a fishing community afflicted by a spine-chilling curse. Any husband who leaves a pregnant wife at home when he ships out is headed for certain death at sea. And you thought the Flying Dutchman had problems. —M.G.
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