Mass renaming for the arts in Holland

Mass renaming for the arts in Holland


norman lebrecht

October 18, 2013

Er, why? And so what? The shoe has yet to drop.



dutch clog



De Nederlandse Opera, The Dutch National Ballet and

The Amsterdam Music Theatre

move forward together under the name


Dutch National Opera & Ballet

With the following specifics:

  • De Nederlandse Opera will be renamed Dutch National Opera
  • the Dutch National Ballet will retain its current English name
  • the Dutch National Touring Opera will become Dutch Touring Opera
  • the new visual identity and house style for Dutch National Opera & Ballet is the work of graphic designers Lesley Moore, to be presented mid-February 2014.


About the institute’s new name

Starting 17 February 2014 the institute, which became a single organization on 1 January 2013 as the result of the merger of De Nederlandse Opera, Dutch National Ballet and The Amsterdam Music Theatre, will operate under the name Dutch National Opera & Ballet. This will also be the new name for the venue itself.

Els van der Plas, general director:

“It is good that the new name Dutch National Opera & Ballet clearly reflects what happens on stage, and that the names of the opera, ballet and venue form a single, logical entity. In this way we position ourselves as an (inter)nationally recognized top-notch institute for opera and ballet. The strength of our house is that we create, produce and present opera and ballet of the highest calibre. Our productions often travel the world over. As a single organization we are better able to place our message of first-class quality and craftsmanship in the limelight.”

About the opera and ballet brand names


The organization retains separate brand names for opera and ballet, whereby De Nederlandse Opera will continue under a new name, both in English (Dutch National Opera) and Dutch (De Nationale Opera).

Pierre Audi, director of opera:

“The opera’s name change is a big step for us and for our audiences. It is, however, a logical step in light of the choice for the new overall name. Together with the new name for the opera and the ballet’s current name it creates a unified whole. Furthermore, in this way we are better able to promote ourselves as the leading opera house for and in the Netherlands. We will use the name Dutch National Opera abroad. In both languages we retain the trusted abbreviation DNO.

We are pleased to be getting a new house style and identity, and are excited to include our visitors in these new developments.”

Ted Brandsen, director of ballet:


“We are pleased to preserve our brand name Dutch National Ballet as well as its Dutch version, Het Nationale Ballet. Dutch National Ballet will be the Netherlands’ only classical dance company to present top-notch productions both at home and abroad. What will change is our logo. We are delighted to continue our tradition of innovative graphic design by engaging the Lesley Moore agency. The motto of ‘superior simplicity’ developed by Lesley Moore is perfectly suited to the ambitions of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. We will unveil this beautiful new house style in mid-Febuary 2014.”

New house style and design by Lesley Moore for Dutch National Opera & Ballet

The Amsterdam-based graphic design agency Lesley Moore has created the Dutch National Opera & Ballet’s new house style and design. The agency recently designed the new identity for the Central Museum in Utrecht, for which it won the Dutch Design Award – Graphic Design 2012.

Dutch National Touring Opera (Nationale Reisopera) becomes Dutch Touring Opera

The Dutch National Touring Opera (the current Nationale Reisopera), will be called Dutch Touring Opera abroad and Nederlandse Reisopera at home. The ‘adjective reversal’ in the Dutch names of the two opera companies was brought about in mutual agreement. Both companies continue their commitment to co-operation in the area of talent development.

Nicolas Mansfield, director Nationale Reisopera:

“It is fantastic that two key players in the field of opera in the Netherlands close ranks in this way. The Nationale Reisopera considers it entirely logical that we actively contribute to a clear-cut opera structure in the Netherlands. Additionally, the fact that we are the Netherlands’ principal touring opera company is reflected in our new name. We will use the name Dutch Touring Opera abroad. Together with DNO we have a mutual interest in preserving, renewing and rejuvenating this art form. Talent development is an essential building block of this vision, and together we will meet this challenge.”

NB: until 17 February 2014, De Nederlandse Opera, Dutch National Ballet, The Amsterdam Music Theatre and Nationale Reisopera will continue to operate under their current names and corporate identities.



  • …and their funding will be subject to a ceiling, known as the Dutch Cap.

  • christopher CZAJA SAGER says:

    the parties cited are the banksters of NL’s budget delusional scene

    years ago after WWI and into the 80’s a truly ‘top notch’ Holland Festival flourishes, and in several cirties.The most respected NL dance company was the innovative Nederlands Dans Theater, that , too ended for the short-sighted mentality. When the KCO goes on tour fortunately not yet called: the Royal Concert Building orchestra….other and too many musical institutions decimated in rich Shell-Land…..a scandal

  • christopher CZAJA SAGER says:

    impossible to scroll back when writing a comment, so here a few proof-reading corrections!

    WW I should be WWII, the first director a figure of stature , Peter Diamond;

    ‘flourishes’ should be flourished! ‘cirties’..cities.

    ‘for’ from the short-sighted.Over the years most of the best NL conductors took positions o u t s i d e of the Netherlands…..