Five reasons to look forward to... Ändere die Welt!

5 reasons to look forward to... Ändere die Welt!

27 February 2023

1. Topical theme 

The climate crisis, the economic crisis, the refugee crisis, war in Europe — that something needs to change in the world is an understatement. But while we cry Ändere die Welt! (‘Change the world!’), history continues to repeat itself. So how do you change the world? We are familiar with the images of revolution: from history, the French flag hoisted on top of the barricades; in more recent times the man in Viking costume in the Capitol in America. Is revolution the best way to bring about change? Are there alternative ways of achieving a revolution without the violence? In Ändere die Welt! we see a group of people who use the debris from yet another revolution as building blocks to construct a new kind of existence. 

2. Pastiche 

Ändere die Welt! is what is termed a pastiche (from the Italian pasticcio, meaning pie): an opera genre made up of arias, ensembles and instrumental music from various operas, by one or more composers. In Ändere die Welt!, music from the opera repertoire is combined with lieder by composers including Hanns Eisler and the cabaret songs of Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. The production also mixes disciplines by including spoken-word texts and electronic soundscapes. 

3. Opera meets spoken word

Ändere die Welt! is revolutionary in form and content. It juxtaposes the spoken-word art of Amara van der Elst with highlights from the opera and lieder repertoire that were created against a backdrop of revolution. In a role that hovers somewhere between narrator, presenter, stage manager and commentator, Amara guides the audience through the production and invites them to reflect on what the performance is saying. During last year’s OFF, five spoken-word artists gave guest performances in the foyer; Amara was one of them. Ändere die Welt! goes one step further in building a production around the cross-fertilisation from mixing the art forms of opera and spoken word. 

4. Collective works 

Ändere die Welt! is part of the Collective Works series. This label is used for productions that are presented during the Opera Forward Festival and were created using a collective approach. The repertoire that makes up the collage production Ändere die Welt! was selected by everyone involved in the creation process. It means they all had a say in the final production, more so than is normally the case. The result was a dynamic, creative process with predominantly young artists — including singers from Dutch National Opera Studio — collaborating as equal partners. 

5. Tour

The production is the outcome of a partnership between Dutch National Opera, Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid, with a focus on talent development. Thanks to the combined involvement of the Dutch opera companies, Ändere die Welt! can go on tour. Performances are scheduled in Theatre de Meervaart in Amsterdam and various other venues across the country. 

  • Ändere die Welt! will run from 11 March till 2 April in several theaters in the country.