Dutch National Opera creates and performs dramatic musical art, focusing on quality, diversity and innovation. This is expressed by taking a fresh approach to the opera classics, rediscovering repertoire that has seldom been performed and creating brand-new operas. Come and be inspired in our theatre, where you will be given a warm welcome.

Dutch National Opera presents

Ramble to Reims


Dutch National Opera’s success is largely due to the Chorus of the Dutch National Opera, which numbers 60 singers. Let us introduce them to you.

Behind the Scenes

From complete sets to costumes, and from special effects to wigs; practically everything is produced in our own workshops. Watch some behind-the-scenes videos here.

Artistic Staff

The Dutch National Opera is the largest opera company in the Netherlands. These are the members of our artistic and musical staff. (Biographies will be available in English soon).


Do you enjoy singing? Singing together? Together with a lot of others? Come and join our choir projects: Zingen bij De Nationale Opera! There are several projects for children and adults, with or without experience.

Read more

A rich history

1946 Foundation Dutch Opera

The 'Foundation Dutch Opera' is established, a repertoire company with a permanent ensemble. The company, als known as 'Opera', tours through the entire country. Paul Cronheim (photo) is in charge of the company until 1951.

1949 Orfeo ed Euridice

Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck is performed on 24 June during the Holland Festival. Musical director is Pierre Monteux; Kathleen Ferrier sings the lead role.

1964 Dutch Opera Foundation

The company is renamed ‘Dutch Opera Foundation’ and adopts a stagione orientation, inviting different soloists and artistic teams for each new production. The Belgian Maurice Huisman is appointed intendant.

1969 Reconstruction

The controversial Reconstruction - a morality, by a collective from Louis Andriessen, Hugo Claus, Reinbert de Leeuw, Misha Mengelberg, Harry Mulisch, Peter Schat and Jan van Vlijmen, premieres June 29th.

1971 Hans de Roo and Cristina Deutekom

Hans de Roo becomes intendant. De Roo paved the way for the Dutch diva Cristina Deutekom and is credited with the ‘discovery’ of singers such as Catherine Malfitano, Gabriela Benackova, Neil Shicoff and Frederica von Stade, who would later become world-class operatic names.

1976 Appreciation Hans de Roo

The Dutch Opera Foundation is awarded the Association of Dutch Theatre Critics Prize. The jury praises Hans de Roo’s artistic policy during the previous five seasons.

1986 De Nederlandse Opera

The Dutch Opera Foundation changes its name to De Nederlandse Opera (DNO) and moves from the Stadsschouwburg to the new Muziektheater building where, with Jan van Vlijmen as intendant and Hartmut Haenchen as music director, a new adventure begins.

1986 Hartmut Haenchen

Hartmut Haenchen becomes the music director of De Nederlandse Opera and the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest. His Strauss, Wagner and Mahler interpretations are renowned. He remains in the position until 1999 and returns many times as guest-conductor for Der Ring des Nibelungen amongst others.

1987 Jan van Vlijmen

Jan van Vlijmen resigns his post as director, arguing that the government’s proposed financial support is insufficient to guarantee artistic quality.

1987 Truze Lodder

Truze Lodder is appointed administrative director. During her 25-year tenure, DNO grows into one of the world’s prominent and trend-setting opera companies.

1988 Pierre Audi

Pierre Audi is named artistic director of DNO. As a stage director at De Nederlandse Opera, Pierre Audi collaborates with visual artists such as Jannis Kounellis, Georg Baselitz and Karel Appel.

1990 Monteverdi-cycle

Pierre Audi's Monteverdi-cycle premieres. The cycle will be on stage regularly until 2007 and with that, put the baroque opera back in the spotlight.

1997 Der Ring des Nibelungen

Pierre Audi’s staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen (Richard Wagner) is premiered this year. Audi’s artistic partners for this cycle include George Tsypin (decor) and Jean Kalman (lighting).

1999 Edo de Waart

Hartmut Haenchen concludes his career as chief-conductor. Edo de Waart becomes the new chief-conductor.

2004 Ingo Metzmacher

Chief conductor Edo de Waart is replaced by Ingo Metzmacher. Robin de Raaff composes the opera Raaff on a commission from De Nederlandse Opera.

2005 Robert Zuidam

Robert Zuidam’s opera Rage d'amours is premiered on 17 June under the musical leadership of Reinbert de Leeuw.

2006 Michel van der Aa

On 2 June 2006, After Life by Michel van der Aa has its world premiere in the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.

2008 Ingo Metzmacher

Ingo Metzmacher departs as chief conductor.

2009 Johannes Vermeer Prijs

Pierre Audi accepts the first Johannes Vermeer Prize in October. Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk has instigated the prize to recognize and reward exceptional artistic talent.

2011 Marc Albrecht

Marc Albrecht is the new chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera as well as of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra when Het Muziektheater Amsterdam celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary

2013 Els van der Plas

The new organisation kicks off on 1 January, but without a common name for the moment. Els van der Plas is the managing director, Ted Brandsen is the director of ballet and Pierre Audi is the director of opera.

2013 Pierre Audi

Pierre Audi is, at the time of the merge to Dutch National Opera & Ballet, artistic director opera for 25 years. At that moment, he has made 38 new stagings for the company and is responsible for 180 new productions on stage as company manager.

2014 Dutch National Opera & Ballet

From 17 February, Dutch National Ballet is part of the triumvirate called Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The company will continue to operate under the name Dutch National Ballet.


Dutch National Opera: nomination for Gurre-Lieder

Dutch National Opera’s production of Gurre-Lieder has been nominated for an International Opera Award 2015 in the category ‘New Production’.

Dutch National Opera holds first Children’s Choir Festival

Sixteen children’s choirs, totalling 320 children, from all over the Netherlands, were guests of Dutch National Opera & Ballet

National Opera & Ballet in FashionWeek Amsterdam

Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Opera are presenting two events during 10 Days Downtown, in collaboration with Fashionweek Amsterdam.

Record audience number Dutch National Opera & Ballet

Dutch National Opera & Ballet can look back on a very successful year. The number of visitors rose from 190,000 in 2013 to over 208,000 in 2014; an increase of more than 9%.

December: NPO’s opera month

TV broadcasting station NTR and the digital theme channel NPO Cultura traditionally take opera as their theme for the month of December. This year’s highlight is Dutch National Opera’s production of Richard Wagner’s opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Pierre Audi and conducted by Hartmut Haenchen.

On our way to a 50 years celebration

Whilst preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary at the end of 2015, Dutch National Opera (formerly De Nederlandse Opera) is proud to launch its first season together with Dutch National Ballet. National Opera & Ballet is the home of both production companies, sharing the word National from now on in their names, helping to make their merger clear whilst respecting their individual identities.

Take your Social Seats

Dutch National Opera & Ballet offer two free Social Seats each month: all you have to do is use your social media!