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Little Dog's Heart Doggy paddle through the plastic soup

This show was to been seen in May 2017

Children’s opera for age 8 and up

Duration 1:25

Language Dutch

Surtitles Dutch

Little Dog’s Heart
Or the rambling and true story of the unfortunate voyage of a Dutch cargo ship and the ship’s dog Sharik, through the unstoppable Plastic Soup.

In short

New production: following the success of Ramble to Reims, Dutch National Opera is presenting a newly composed children’s opera. Performed for and by sea dogs and everyone who has a soft spot for them.

Take a look at the rehearsals of Little Dog's Heart.
Sing along with the sea dogs from the performance!


Little Dog’s Heart is a children’s opera that aims to comment on the adult world, in the realisation that children will soon also be part of it. It is a parody of a society in which people seem to have lost track of things, and where the leaders only follow the opinion polls instead of putting themselves forward as role models for new generations.
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 throws plastic overboard and shoots at birds. But then ship’s dog Sharik is wounded by one of the birds that have been shot down. In order to save him, part of the Captain’s brain is transplanted into the dog’s head.
In consultations, the Captain discusses his crew’s vital questions in an authoritarian way, and notices that Sharik is displaying more and more human characteristics and claiming more and more human privileges. Then an argument erupts between the Captain and Sharik about who is the best leader. The dispute escalates to such an extent that the crew resort to mutiny, as they all believe they could be boss as well. Eventually, the ship appears to be in danger of sinking in the plastic soup they have created themselves. Can the situation be saved?

Take a look behind the scenes and see how the image at the top of this page has been created.
Will you sing along with the crew about their adventures on sea?

Marcel Sijm


Marcel Sijm (concept and director) creates opera in all its various forms and does not shy away from interaction between different styles and performers. Besides the Baroque, classical and Romantic opera repertoire, he has a penchant for contemporary works, preferably in the Dutch language.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Concept and stage director 
Marcel Sijm
Erik Bindervoet
Robbert-Jan Henkes
Oene van Geel
Florian Magnus Maier
Musical coordination 
Leonard Evers
Roel van Berckelaer
Esmee Thomassen
Erik van Raalte
Klaus Bertisch
De Captain 
Anthony Heidweiller
Gable Roelofsen
Jeroen de Vaal
Alexander de Jong
Mitch Raemaekers
Martijn Cornet
Tim de Timmerman 
Marc Pantus
Heintje, altviool-cajon 
Oene van Geel
Kurt, gitaar 
Florian M. Maier
Felix, (alt)viool-gitaar 
George Dumitriu
Korneel, klarinet-scheepskat 
Bart de Kater
Ijsbrand, slagwerk-scheepslier 
Andreas Kühne
Vrouw van de Dierenbescherming 
Nanette Edens (actress)
Children of Circuswerkplaats Boost 
Orchestra aboard 
Members Nationaal Jeugd Orkest


Bulgakov wrote a satire about the new Soviet man. Bindervoet & Henkes take a good look at our Dutch business acumen. Little Dog’s Heart shows the mess that adults make. Bobbing about in their little merchant ship, they control nature while wanting to stay in safe waters.

The music was written by two experienced composers of children’s opera: 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.


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