1. THE WORLD OF SPOKEN WORD: ROZIENA SALIHU
The libretto of The Theory of Everything, a spoken-word opera (in Dutch), was penned by multidisciplinary artist and storyteller Roziena Salihu. By her own admission, ‘words’ are central to everything she does. With her profound interest in social and human processes, no one could be better placed than Salihu to write the libretto for The Theory of Everything – a project that was her first foray into a new genre: this spoken-word opera is her debut as a librettist.
2. THE WORLD OF MUSIC: CARLIJN METSELAAR AND JAN VAN EERD
Carlijn Metselaar, a young and promising composer, wrote the music for The Theory of Everything. In her playful composition, she has created a multi-coloured soundscape that not only does justice to the classical idiom, but also pays tribute to the world of the spoken word. For his part, musician, producer and Edison Award winner Jan van Eerd has transposed some parts of Carlijn’s acoustic composition to his own electronic world, using such instruments as vintage synthesisers in combination with vibraphones and marimbas.
3. THE WORLD OF DANCE: JOMECIA OOSTERWOLDE
Jomecia Oosterwolde created the choreography for The Theory of Everything. Her dance style is rooted in the rich dance traditions of the West African diaspora, which is steeped in rhythm and brimming with resilience. Besides being responsible for the choreography, Jomecia also plays the role of Nia’s dancing aunt in this production.
4. THE WORLD OF SCIENCE
The Theory of Everything is about the colliding worlds of art and science. The title refers to the unified field theory, an as yet non-existent physics theory that aims to unify the four fundamental forces to create a single, coherent framework to explain all interactions in the universe. By adopting a fresh perspective on concepts such as ‘time’ and ‘space’, Nia makes a compelling argument for a different view of the world.
5. THE WORLD OF ALL-ROUNDERS: NAOMI VAN DER LINDEN AND HANNE VAN DE VRIE
This family-friendly performance with music and dance came about on the initiative of stage director Naomi van der Linden and musical director Hanne van de Vrie. They have worked together before on Dutch National Opera’s annual children’s projects, such as the Children’s Chorus Festival and Opera Heroes. With these two projects as their reference point, they will now put on their own production, which will be staged at Dutch National Opera & Ballet’s new venue: Studio Boekman. Their hope for the spoken-word opera The Theory of Everything is that it will amaze and inspire children, and kindle their enthusiasm for opera.
- Dutch National Opera will be performing The Theory of Everything from 20 December 2023 through 7 January 2024 at Dutch National Opera & Ballet.