Opera Forward Festival 2017
The second edition of the Opera Forward Festival, on the theme of POWER/POWERLESSNESS, will take place between 18 and 31 March 2017. Opera Forward forms the ideal platform for Dutch National Opera to create scope for new works, new initiatives and new talents.
The world premiere of The New Prince, directed by Lotte de Beer, will take place on Friday 24 March 2017. It is composed by the American Mohammed Fairouz, who has entered into a daring collaboration with The Washington Post journalist David Ignatius, as the writer of the libretto. The makers were inspired by the confrontational vision on the phenomenon of power of the 15th-century philosopher, writer and politician Machiavelli. The New Prince
Wozzeck by Alban Berg, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, will also be presented at the festival. The innovative musical idiom of Alban Berg is excellently suited to the festival. The experiences of, and deed of despair eventually committed by the vulnerable man Wozzeck lend a new dimension to the central theme of Opera Forward – POWER/POWERLESSNESS. Wozzeck
Based on collaboration
For this second edition, we are once again collaborating with a great many partners from arts education: all the Dutch conservatoires, the Academy of Theatre and Dance, the Film Academy, the Rietveld Academy and the University of Amsterdam. Over 350 students will work in interdisciplinary teams on creating their own short operas. New partnerships will also be started with enterprising, distinctive organisations that are closely involved in today’s society, such as the companies Operafront, Opera Trionfo and Muziektheater Transparant.
St John Passion
Muziektheater Transparant, the international production house for music theatre from Antwerp, is presenting a new special adaptation of the St John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach, under the title And you must suffer. The text links poetry to the biblical story of the Passion. Bach’s music is combined with new compositions by the Israeli-Palestinian composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi and the Flemish composer Annelies van Parys, and is performed by Baroque orchestra B’Rock. Director Pierre Audi is placing the work in an austere setting, based on images by artist and iconoclast Wim Delvoye, thus creating a contemporary reflection on the role of religion, identity, suffering and pity. And-you-must-suffer
Director Floris Visser is the artistic director of Opera Trionfo. Under the title Sign of the Times, he and his company want to produce a series of performances that take current political and social developments as their subject. Visser: “Not all issues can still be told through the classics. This demands a response from the arts and from us as opera makers in particular”. For his first production, the music will be written by the successful Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki.
In the opera Caliban, to music by Moritz Eggert, produced by Lotte de Beer’s company Operafront, De Beer goes in search of understanding for the monsters of our time. Caliban is a character from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, who embodies everything. He is taken prisoner and humiliated, yet also speaks directly to the audience, telling them that he is a monster and cannot be trusted. He is both perpetrator and victim.
For the complete programme take a look at