Zwart Wit

Behind the scenes: from buffet service to to online support

4 February 2021

Text: Rosalie Overing

One year ago, the foyer of Dutch National Opera & Ballet was packed night after night with enthusiastic visitors, the expectant tension almost tangible in the air. But now the lights stay off, the cloakrooms empty and the buffets unmanned. Not an ideal situation when you normally work as head of a buffet in the theatre. Stella Vrijmoed and Yuki Shibata, who have both been working as theatre employees of NO&B since the end of 2017, know all about this. However, even when there are no physical performances taking place, they provide service to opera and ballet spectators: online, as part of the video support team that offers viewers support during online performances.


"As part of the video support team, we take care of all questions and complaints from guests who want to watch the online streams or performances," Yuki explains. "So, in a way, we are still theatre employees, but now online." This means checking the mailbox several times a day in order to respond to visitors with questions or complaints. "When a new stream has just been launched or a performance is offered in the form of a live stream, it is a lot busier," Stella adds. "Then, you are working for several hours at a time sometimes."