14 October until 3 November


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time




Mata Hari

World famous icon

The turbulent life of the Dutch spy and dancer Mata Hari is the theme of this large-scale production. Choreographed by artistic director Ted Brandsen, it was premiered in the spring of 2016 to resounding success.


Trailer Mata Hari

About this production

The story of the Dutch spy and dancer, which is known all over the world, now appeals to the imagination more than ever. The young girl from Friesland became an internationally celebrated dancer; a star who wound every man around her little finger and a strong, self-willed woman, who was later accused of treason. On 15 October 2017, it is exactly a hundred years ago that Margaretha Geertruida Zelle (Mata Hari’s real name) was executed as a spy.

The  music for Brandsen’s Mata Hari is by Tarik O’Regan, one of today’s leading British composers. The renowned designers’ duo Clement & Sanou were invited to make the set and light design and François-Noël Cherpin designed the costumes. Ted Brandsen worked with librettist and dramaturge Janine Brogt on a scenario that portrays Mata Hari’s life in cinematic scenes.


    The most intriguing thing about Mata Hari's life story is not the biographical facts, but rather her ability to keep transforming herself. At every change in her eventful life, she succeeded in reinventing herself: as dancer, diva, spy and mystery. She never gave up. Mata Hari has become symbolic of the irresistible courtesan spy. Several films about her life (including one with Greta Garbo from 1932 and one with Jeanne Moreau from 1965) have contributed to this image. The extent to which she was actually guilty of espionage is still unclear. In 2017, several sources will be made accessible to the public and the role actually played by Mata Hari will become clearer.

    Matthew Rowe
    Matthew Rowe
    Conductor Dutch Ballet Orchestra
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    Mata Hari scenefoto
    The media about Mata Hari
    6 February

    The scope is breathtaking. The ballet finds its heart in the woman herself. (…) Anna Tsygankova brings her talent and charisma to the role, creating a woman of leonine courage and one we genuinely care about (...) magnificent pas de deux.

    6 February

    (...) a magisterial Anna Tsygankova in the leading role. Mata Hari is a large-scale ballet and the company has unpacked (...) beautiful costumes (...) inventive decors (...) The choice of Tarik O'Regan as composer is also a good one.”

    Orchestra: Dutch Ballet Orchestra

    Conducted by Matthew Rowe

    Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been proud to accompany its partners, Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands

    Dutch Ballet Orchestra

    Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This gives the orchestra its unique character: flexible, dynamic and high-quality.

    More about Dutch Ballet Orchestra


    ted brandsen_0_0.j

    ‘Mata Hari heeft zichzelf tot mythe verheven’

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