Dutch National Opera presents

Little Dog’s Heart Oene van Geel / Florian Magnus Maier

This show was to been seen in May 2018

Opera for young and old! (8+)

Duration 1:25

By Oene van Geel / Florian Magnus Maier

Language Dutch

Surtitles Dutch and English

… absurd, contentious, but very entertaining youth theatre … (Theaterkrant)
… a swinging party … (de Volkskrant)

In short

Little Dog’s Heart is an opera for the whole family about the stormy events on board a Dutch merchant ship. It is a parody of a disorderly society, in which leaders blindly follow the opinion polls instead of plotting a brave course. Without pause for breath, the opera sails past everything that matters: from nostalgia to science, from masculinity to bragging, and from comradeship to love of animals. Little Dog’s Heart is a swinging, candid commentary on the world of adults.

Take a look at the rehearsals of Little Dog's Heart.
Will you sing along with the crew about their adventures on sea?


The Captain and his crew sail the seven seas with a cargo of frozen goods. Everyone’s in a good mood and joins in heartily with the sea shanties. The Captain is the undisputed leader on board, without a care for nature. He loves to shoot the seabirds out of the sky.

But then the ship’s dog Sharik is wounded by a bird falling from the sky. In order to save him, part of the Captain’s brain is transplanted into the dog’s head. Sharik survives, but that’s not all: he starts acting more and more like a human. He loses his tail, starts walking on his hind legs and begins to talk. But he’s not very lovable anymore.

A huge argument erupts between the Captain and Sharik about who is the best leader. The dispute escalates and, to make matters worse, the crew resort to mutiny. With no leader on board, the ship soon starts to sink. The situation must be saved!

Team and Cast

Concept, Stage Director 
Marcel Sijm
Erik Bindervoet
Robbert-Jan Henkes
Oene van Geel
Florian Magnus Maier
Set Designer 
Roel van Berckelaer
Costume Designer 
Esmee Thomassen
Lighting Designer 
Erik van Raalte
Klaus Bertisch
Ivo van Gennip (trumpet)
Pablo Moreno Miras (horn)
Edward Peeters (horn)
Wilco Kamminga (trombone)
Anthony Heidweiller
Gable Roelofsen
Jeroen de Vaal
Alexander de Jong
Mitch Raemaekers
Jan Willem Baljet
Tim the Carpenter 
Marc Pantus
Woman from the Animal Protection Agency 
Nanette Edens
Live stage direction of the Maatjes 
Niels Beune
Oene van Geel (violen, viola)
Florian Magnus Maier (guitar)
George Dumitru (violin, viola, guitar)
Bart de Kater (clarinet, ship's cat)
Andreas Kühne (percussion)
Sjarik the Dog 
Children of Circuswerkplaats Boost


Two experienced composers of children’s operas wrote the music for Little Dog’s Heart: Oene van Geel (jazz musician) and Florian Magnus Maier (composer of heavy metal, flamenco and modern classical).

Marcel Sijm based his concept on the novella Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov and the picaresque novel Wijdlopige, brede en waarachtige beschrijving van de ongelukkige reizen van het schip de Visstick en haar gezagvoerder Kapitein Iglo, by Bindervoet & Henkes. Marcel Sijm makes contemporary music theatre with composed and improvised classical and popular music. He has gained his reputation not only in opera and theatre, but also in projects at locations like the ramparts of Amersfoort, the mines of Essen and the sandpits of Oerol. In 2011, Sijm made his debut with Dutch National Opera with the theatrical world premiere of Legende, an opera by Peter-Jan Wagemans. Since then, he has directed Kopernikus and Ramble to Reims, an adaptation of Il viaggio a Reims.

Blockbuster Fonds