Opera Forward Festival 2021

Let Opera Forward surprise you with what opera can also be from 18 until 21 March. With work by established artists and a new generation of makers, musical performances and talks, OFF stimulates your head and your heart. In 2021 you can experience OFF online. The central theme of this edition is 'Where do we go from here?'

Opera Forward Festival 2021 Trailer

Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins

OFF Night #1

UNIQUE ONLINE EXPERIENCE | Star soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and actress Anna Drijver embody two sides of a young woman venturing out into the world, and encountering the seven mortal sins on the way.  

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Upload - preview

OFF Night #3

PREVIEW | Michel van der Aa's newest opera explores what it means to be human in a digital world. OFF presents a unique preview of this opera, which has its filmic online world premiere this spring. 

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A song for the moon (6+)


ONLINE FAMILY OPERA | What do you do when the moon is sad? Sing her a song, of course! A new opera by Mathilde Wantenaar, based on the eponymous story by Toon Tellegen. 

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OFF Nights

Thursday 18 March | Man/emotion/sin
Live opening: Kurt Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins
Pride, greed, lust, jealousy, gluttony, anger and sloth. The first OFF Night is dedicated to the deadly sins. In addition, we reflect on the power and role of art. The festival is opened by International Booker prize-winning author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. 

Explore OFF Night #1

Friday 19 March | Talent/topicality/artistry
OFF Talents
This OFF Night is all about artistry and the exchange between established artists and young talents. How do artists deal with the disappearance of their live stage and the online possibilities that replace it? Discover the possible directions in six new short student operas, the physical performance HCoV-NL63 by Gregory Caers with students of the MBO Theaterschool Rotterdam, and the special OFFspring projects by participants of previous editions of the festival.

Explore OFF Night #2

Saturday 20 March | Technology/identity/change
Preview: Upload
Technological developments are radically changing the way we live our lives. Simultaneously, traditional power structures and ideas about colour and gender identity are being increasingly questioned. What does a changing world mean for our sense of identity, and how does our sense of identity impact the world? And what role can - or should - art play in this? With a preview of the new Van der Aa opera Upload, musical performances and stimulating discussions.

Explore OFF Night #3



Sunday 21 March | Singing/Dreaming/Celebrating
Online world premiere: A Song for the Moon (6+)
OFF closes with a Sunday afternoon for all generations. For our youngest audience we present Een lied voor de maan (A Song for the Moon) by Mathilde Wantenaar, a composer who took part in the first edition of OFF in 2016 as a student and now returns with her first full-length opera. On this final day of the festival, we also celebrate OFF's fifth anniversary.

Explore the OFF Day

Keep an eye on the Opera Forward Festival website!


Opera Forward Festival is made possible by:

Founding partners Opera Forward Festival:



Partner OFF Staging & OFF Compositions:

With special thanks to: Fonds Jong Talent, Petronella Andriessen Fonds en Alida Wilhelmina Fonds