Dutch National Opera presents

La damnation de Faust Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

Tickets on sale
17 Nov 12:00

With The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Burning Passion

By Hector Berlioz

Language French

Surtitles Dutch and English

The Faust season is rounded off with an adventure headed straight for damnation. La damnation de Faust is a monumental opera in which the search and longing for love are the point of focus.


Hector Berlioz score is passionate and tumultuous. Music with the intensity of a feverish nightmare. La damnation de Faust (1846) was originally written for the concert stage. It is a cross between an opera, an oratorio, and a cantata. Berlioz depicts the fateful itneraction between Faust, the devil Méphistophélès, and the angelic Marguerite. A versatile role is reserved for the Chorus of Dutch National Opera, which in the finale of La damnation de Faust represents the demons in the bowels of hell.

    Mon 10 Feb The Guardian - Calixto Bieito

    'His vivid productions have electrified audiences and challenged the critics.'


The Spanish stage director Calixto Bieito, famous for his very original interpretations of the opera repertoire, makes his DNO debut with this new La damnation de Faust. He is a master at bringing the dark side of humanity to the stage in powerful, energetic visuals. The set design is by the Opera Award winning Rebecca Ringst.

The American tenor John Osborn returns to Dutch National Opera as Faust – his sixth lead role at DNO. Faust’s lover, Marguerite, is sung by the French-British mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany, who makes her house debut. The American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, who bowled over audiences as the demonic Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, once again climbs into the skin of the devil in La damnation de Faust.

The Royal Concertgebouworchestra, with its formidable reputation in the large-scale symphonic repertoire, is the ideal partner for an opera by master orchestrator Hector Berlioz. The musical direction is in the capable hands of Berlioz specialist François-Xavier Roth. 

In cooperation with Holland Festival


La damnation de Faust
Dramatic legend in four parts
Hector Berlioz and Almire Gandonnière

Team, Cast and Chorus

Musical direction
François-Xavier Roth
Stage direction
Calixto Bieito
Rebecca Ringst
Costume designer
Ingo Krügler
Light designer
Michael Bauer
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master
Ching-Lien Wu
Children's Choir
Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
Anaïs de la Morandais
Anna Stéphany
John Osborn
Kyle Ketelsen
Frederik Bergman (Dutch National Opera Studio)



The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is counted among the world’s leading orchestras. It is known for its unique sound and stylistic flexibility and works with leading composers and conductors. Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky have conducted the orchestra more than once. Since its foundation in 1888, there have only been been seven chief conductors: Willem Kes, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons and Daniele Gatti. Currently, the position is vacant. The RCO Academy is a trainee programme for young, talented musicians. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will join us for La damnation de Faust in 2021.


The Chorus of Dutch National Opera consists of 50 singers and is regularly supplemented by freelance chorus members for major productions. The Chorus of Dutch National Opera already has many milestones to its name, including Saint François d’Assise, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Ercole amante, Boris Godunov, La Juive, Les Troyens, Eugene Onegin, Parsifal, Guillaume Tell, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Faust, La forza del destino, Das Floß der Medusa, Oedipe and Tannhäuser, as well as concert performances of Der fliegende Holländer in Rotterdam, Paris and Dortmund and Daphnis et Chloé with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. Since September 1, 2014 Ching-Lien Wu is artistic director of the Chorus of Dutch National Opera. Earlier in the 2019- 2020 season, the chorus gave stellar performances in Pagliacci/Cavalleria rusticana, Nabucco and Carmen. In 2016 the Chorus was awarded the title of ‘Best Opera Chorus’ by the authoritative magazine Opernwelt. In the 2020-2021 season the Chorus will sing in Mefistofele, Le nozze di Figaro, Aida, Der fliegende Holländer, Die lustige Witwe, Anna Bolena and La damnation de Faust.



Experts share their thoughts on current productions Dutch National Opera & Ballet offers an introductory talk 45 minutes before each performance. An expert will share background information, context and interesting details that can give your theatre visit more depth. The talks are in Dutch and are free to all the ticket holders. You can also find an abridged version of the introduction on our website as a podcast.

Time: 45 minutes before the performance
Location: Odeonzaal; ground floor entrance


La damnation de Faust - 17 May 2021, 20.30 hrs

Several weeks prior to the premiere of a performance, while the process of creation is still in full throttle, we invite singers, dancers, makers and other experts to share their thrill in creating this production. Sometimes your guide will be a single speaker, at other times other participants will join the discussion; there will always be live dance or music to enjoy, making this a fine way to experience opera and ballet up close.

NB: In principle, the foyer evenings are given in Dutch, but in practice the high number of international guests means that English is often spoken as well.

Foyer Evening