Dutch National Opera presents


This show was to been seen in April 2014

A mystical fairy tale


Claude Vivier
Opéra fleuve en deux parties
Libretto by Claude Vivier
World premiere 8 May 1980, Théâtre du Monument National, Montreal


New production for Dutch National Opera Talent Development
Premiere 15 april 2014, Boekmanzaal, Amsterdam City Hall
In collaboration with VOCAALLAB, Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy and the Master Tailor Institute, Amsterdam

Dutch National Opera presents, as part of its talent development programme and in collaboration with VOCALLAB, the Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy (NJO) and the Master Tailor Institute, a fully-staged production of the opera Kopernikus by Claude Vivier.

In short

A ritual
Agni, named after a Hindu deity, is invited to remain without fear in the afterlife. There she meets Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a witch, Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an elderly monk, Tristan, Isolde, Mozart, Lord upon the waters, Copernicus and his mother. Has Agni just dreamt them? Are they fantasy?


Hans van den Bogaard ©
Hans van den Bogaard ©
Hans van den Bogaard ©


Contemporary and challenging
DNO presented Kopernikus in 2000 as the first part of the Vivier diptych Rêves d’un Marco Polo. Now, seven singers, seven instrumentalists, an assistant stage director, a dramaturge and a young creative team consisting of a costume designer, lighting designer, two decor designers and ten costume-builders can immerse themselves in a unique work from the challenging contemporary repertoire. The project will be led by conductor Romain Bischoff, director Marcel Sijm and choreographer Miguel Angel Gaspar.


Conductor, Artistic Director 
Romain Bischoff

Stage Director 
Marcel Sijm
Sarah Nixon
Janne Sterke

Costume Designer 
Esmée Thomassen
Lighting Designer 
Calle de Hoog
Movement Director 
Miguel Angel Gaspar
Coloratura soprano  
Katharine Dain
Éléonore Lemaire
Aurélie Franck

Marine Fribourg
Jussi Lehtipuu
Claudia Veltman / Marco van 't Oever
Isa Goldschmeding
Arthur Klaassens
Jasper Grijpink
Daniel Boeke
Bass clarinet  
Thomasz Zymla
Willemien van der Stelt
Joost Geevers


Highly personal
If Claude Vivier had not met an untimely death (he was murdered in 1983), he might well have developed into one of the twentieth century’s most influential composers. His teachers included Karlheinz Stockhausen. Kopernikus (‘Opéra rituel de mort en deux parties’), written in 1980, is a timeless work in which the cosmos symbolizes the afterlife. The message – that we need not fear death – reflects the highly personal nature of Vivier's music.


Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy (NJO) led by Romain Bischoff


Every performance of National Opera & Ballet is preceded by an introductory talk. Learn more, enjoy more.

The introduction begins 45 minutes before curtain. The introduction is free of charge to everyone attending the performance, and amplification is used to enhance audibility.  Meeting point for the introduction is next to the entrance to the Boekmanzaal; no admission (for the introductory talk) after 19:15.

CMS is European partner of Dutch National Opera since 2011.

    Wed 22 Jan Bright Caecilia, 2008

    ‘There’s a unique voice in Vivier’s music…’

    Wed 22 Jan Composer György Ligeti

    ‘… the best composer of his generation.'