Dutch National Opera presents
New voices, new visions
From 15 to 25 March 2016, Dutch National Opera celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with the brand-new Opera Forward Festival. OFF explored the future of opera through innovative new work by the next generation of artists. Visit the special festival websit: www.operaforward.nl.
Opera Forward Talks
In the run-up to the festival, there were five inspiring talks in collaboration with five educational institutions in Amsterdam. Prominent artists and academics from the Netherlands and abroad talked about the role of the arts, both now and in the future. Admission to these Opera Forward Talks was free for everyone.
Opera Forward Festival
The first edition of the Opera Forward Festival presented four innovative operas, including two world premieres, performed at three of the most beautiful concert halls and theatres in Amsterdam.
During the festival, Dutch National Opera & Ballet was the ideal meeting place for opera-lovers and everyone who wanted to discover the art form. The theatre was a hive of activity in the daytime – as a centre of debate, an exhibition space and a hub of thought-provoking lectures and exciting performances.
The festival also provided a platform for the next generation of artists, who offered us new perspectives on opera. Around 250 students from professional arts education worked in interdisciplinary teams on five short operas, which were be performed at the festival.
Il matrimonio segreto | The secret marriage
Cimarosa’s opera Il matrimonio segreto | The secret marriage was a coproduction between Dutch National Opera Talent, De Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid. The opera had previously been presented by Dutch National Opera in 1976, when talented youngsters took part, just as they did in 2016. Il matrimonio segreto | The secret marriage was directed by Monique Wagemakers – a much sought-after opera director, who was the director’s assistant in 1976. The opera was performed in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam on 18 and 23 March.
The world premiere of Michel van der Aa’s chamber opera for soprano and 3D film, Blank out, took place on 20 March. In Blank Out, he explored the human condition, in a groundbreaking combination of live action, video images and inventive music. This chamber opera with 3D film continues on from Van der Aa’s previous successes After Life and Sunken Garden. The opera was performed in Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ in Amsterdam.
Only the Sound Remains
The premiere of Only the sound remains, composed by the Finn Kaija Saariaho and directed by Peter Sellars, took place on 15 March.
The festival also presented Khovanshchina, the politically inspired opera by Mussorgsky, with key roles for the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chorus of Dutch National Opera.