Dutch put faith in post-Covid world premieres

Dutch put faith in post-Covid world premieres


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2021

Here’s the running order, just released, for Dutch National Opera. The premieres are by local hero Michel van der Aa and British composer Philip Venables (Pictured), and there’s a lot being done on film just in case Covid returns for another closure. The season looks innovative on paper, if a tad lopsided.

Overview season 2021 | 2022

Der Zwerg – new production
Alexander Zemlinsky
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lorenzo Viotti
Stage and video direction: Nanouk Leopold
Cast: Clay Hilley (Der Zwerg), Olga Kulchynska (Donna Clara), Annette Dasch (Ghita), Nicholas Brownlee (Don Estoban), members and alumni of DNO Studio
Performances: 4 (premiere), 8, 12 and 18 September, 8 p.m.

Missa in tempore belli – new production in coproduction with Dutch National Ballet
Joseph Haydn & Janiv Oron
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lorenzo Viotti
Stage direction: Barbora Horáková
Choreography: Juanjo Arqués
Cast: Mingjie Lei, Polly Leech (DNO Studio alumna) and others
Performances: 6 (premiere), 12*, 15 and 21 September, 8 p.m./*1.30 p.m.

Crazy Days – new documentary by Docmakers
Direction: Sanne Rovers
Cast: Riccardo Minasi, Ying Fang, Davide Luciano, Polly Leech and others
Premiere and release: to be announced

Upload – Dutch premiere in coproduction with DoubleA Foundation, Oper Köln, Ensemble MusikFabrik, Bregenzer Festspiele and The Armory, New York
Michel van der Aa
Ensemble MusikFabrik conducted by Otto Tausk
Stage direction: Michel van der Aa
Cast: Roderick Williams and Julia Bullock
Performances: 1 (premiere), 3*, 4, 5 and 8 October, 8 p.m./*2 p.m.

Upload – new film production
Michel van der Aa
Ensemble MusikFabrik conducted by Otto Tausk
Direction: Michel van der Aa
Director of photography: Joost Rietdijk
Singing roles: Roderick Williams and Julia Bullock
With actors: Katja Herbers, Ashley Zukerman, Esther Mugambi, Samuel West, Claron McFadden and others
Premiere and release: to be announced

Springtime in Amsterdam – new film production
Direction and script: Christof Loy
Music by Jacques Brel, Jean Ferrat, Pieter Goemans, Emmerich Kálmán, Jerome Kern, Zoltán Kodály, Carl Millöcker, Johann Strauss Jr, Oscar Straus, Charles Trenet
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Metropole Orchestra, Dutch String Collective, Women’s Chorus of Dutch National Opera conducted by Marko Letonja
Cast: Annette Dasch, Thomas Oliemans, Theresa Kronthaler, Norman Reinhardt, Henk Poort, Sunnyi Melles, Barry Atsma
Premiere and release: to be announced

Don Giovanni – revival
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jérémie Rohrer
Stage direction: Claus Guth
Cast: Domen Križaj (Don Giovanni), Rafał Siwek (il Commentatore), Adela Zaharia (Donna Anna), Long Long (Don Ottavio), Amanda Majeski (Donna Elvira), Adrian Sampetrean (Leporello), Frederik Bergman (Masetto, DNO Studio alumnus), Lilian Farahani (Zerlina)
A production of Staatsoper unter den Linden, Berlin, in collaboration with Salzburger Festspiele
Performances: 4 (premiere), 6, 10, 14*, 17, 19, 25 and 28 November, 7 p.m./*2 p.m.

Anansi – world premiere in coproduction with Cape Town Opera and Dutch National Ballet
Neo Muyanga based on a libretto by Maarten van Hinte
Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Stage direction: Kenza Koutchoukali
Choreography: Shailesh Bahoran
Cast: including Zwakele Tshabalala (Anansi), Katia Ledoux (Makuba), Claron McFadden (Princess Vixen), Martin Mkhize (Snake the Serpent, alumnus Opera Studio), singers of the Cape Town Opera and members of the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company.
Performances: 13 (premiere), 20, 21* and 21 November, 7 p.m./*1.30 p.m.

La traviata – new production for DNO
Giuseppe Verdi
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrea Battistoni
Stage direction: Tatjana Gürbaca
Cast: Mané Galoyan (Violetta), Bogdan Volkov (Alfredo), George Petean (Giorgio Germont)
An original production of Den Norske Opera, Oslo
Performances: 4, 8, 12*, 17, 20, 23 and 26* December, 7.30 p.m./*2 p.m.

Le lacrime di Eros – world premiere
Jacopo Peri, Giulio Caccini, Claudio Monteverdi, Luca Marenzio, Emilio de Cavalieri, Cristoforo Malvezzi, Lorenzo Allegri in a dialogue with contemporary electronic composer Scott Gibbons
Chorus and orchestra: Pygmalion conducted by Raphaël Pichon
Concept, stage direction, set, costumes and light: Romeo Castellucci
Cast: Huw Montague Rendall, Mariana Flores, Lucile Richardot, Zachary Wilder, Nahuel di Pierro
Performances: 20 (premiere), 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30* January 8 p.m./*2 p.m.

Salome – revival
Richard Strauss
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lahav Shani
Stage direction: Ivo van Hove
Cast: Jennifer Holloway (Salome, DNO debut), Brian Mulligan (Jochanaan, role debut)
Performances: 29 January, 1, 3, 6*, 9, 12 and 14 February, 8 p.m./*2 p.m.

Starting on 5 March 2022

Eurydice – Die Liebenden blind – world premiere
Manfred Trojahn (composition commissioned by Dutch National Opera)
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Erik Nielsen
Stage direction: Pierre Audi
Cast: Andrè Schuen (Orpheus), Julia Kleiter (Eurydice), Thomas Oliemans (Pluto), Katia Ledoux (Proserpina)
Performances: 5 (premiere), 8, 10, 13, 15 and 17 March*, 7.30 p.m./*2 p.m.

[Collective Works] – world premiere
Asko|Schönberg conducted by Manoj Kamps
Stage direction: Lisenka Heijboer Castañón
Performance dates: March 2022

Orphée | L’Amour | Eurydice – world premiere in coproduction with Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid, WeMakeVR and M31 Foundation
Christoph W. Gluck / Zbigniew Wolny
Stage direction: Robin Coops
VR direction: Avinash Changa
Cast: Lucas van Lierop (alumnus of DNO Studio)
Performance dates: March 2022

Denis & Katya – Dutch premiere, new production for DNO
Philipp Venables
Stage direction: Ted Huffman
Cast: Dutch National Opera Studio
Musicians of the Residentie Orkest The Hague
Original production of Opera Philadelphia, Music Theatre Wales and Opéra Orchestre National de Montpellier
Performance dates: March 2022

Tosca – new production
Giacomo Puccini
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lorenzo Viotti
Stage direction: Barrie Kosky
Cast: Malin Byström (Tosca), Joshua Guerrero (Cavaradossi), Gevorg Hakobyan (Scarpia)
Performances: 12 (premiere), 15, 18, 21, 24* and 28 April, 1, 3 and 6 May, 7.30 p.m./*2 p.m.

Anna Bolena – new production in coproduction with Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia and Teatro di San Carlo, Naples
Gaetano Donizetti
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra conducted by Enrique Mazzola
Stage direction: Jetske Mijnssen
Cast: Marina Rebeka (Anna Bolena), J’Nai Bridges (Giovanna), Ismael Jordi (Lord Riccardo Percy), Evgeny Stavinsky (Enrico VIII)
Performances: 7 (premiere), 10, 12, 15*, 18, 21, 26 and 29* May, 7 p.m./*2 p.m.

Der Freischütz – new production as part of the Holland Festival
Carl Maria von Weber
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Minasi
Stage direction, set, costumes and light: Kirill Serebrennikov
Cast: Johanni van Oostrum (Agathe), Benjamin Bruns (Max) and others
Performances: 3 (premiere), 7, 9, 12*, 14, 18, 21 and 25 June, 7.30 p.m./*2 p.m.


  • Darrell says:

    Live music should be banned forever, only then will we live forever.

  • Mmh says:

    What’s with the fetish type gear. Not really In good taste

    • John Borstlap says:

      It’s meant to encourage younger generations who prefer symbols of low life because that confirms authentic identity better than civilized gear.

      Such trends (like tattoos) reflect a deep collective longing for the jungle when the yoke of the human condition gets too heavy.