11-18 March


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time

1:05, no intermission



Denis & Katya

Online (im)mortality

Two teenage runaways livestream their final hours from a squat, leaving behind a trail of devastating videos. The chamber opera Denis & Katya explores the public’s reactions to the couple’s tragic fate. An investigation in the form of an opera into how stories are formed and shared in our age of internet voyeurism, conspiracy theories, fake news and being online 24/7.

Online (im)mortality

Director Ted Huffman and composer Philip Venables based their most recent opera on a true story. On 14 November 2016, two Russian 15-year-olds started a livestream on the website Periscope depicting their running away from home, going into hiding, their confrontation with the police and ultimately, their death. As the day wore on and Denis and Katya continued to livestream, the number of online viewers continued to grow. Conspiracy theories abounded, fan sites appeared. Denis and Katya became an internet sensation that, like themselves, was short-lived.


A cast of two young talents

The chamber opera Denis & Katya is about how stories are born, passed on and circulated on social media. The six characters in Denis & Katya, portrayed by just two singers, reconstruct the two teenagers’ story from different perspectives. The testimonies are based on interviews and talk show conversations with people closely involved with the event. Ted Huffman has worked with young talents for DNO before (Les Mamelles de Tirésias and Trouble in Tahiti/Clemency), and this time again, both cast members are young and talented singers. They are accompanied by four cellists of the Residentie Orchestra The Hague.

Performance information

Libretto  Ted Huffmann

Musical direction  Tim Andersen
Stage direction  Ted Huffman
Set and lighting design  Andrew Lieberman
Costumes  Raphaela Rose  
Video  Pierre Martin
Sound  Simon Hendry
Dramaturgy  Ksenia Ravvina

Michael Wilmering
Inna Demenkova*

*Dutch National Opera Studio

Orchestra  Musicians of the Residentie Orkest The Hague

Original Production by Opera Philadelphia, Music Theatre Wales and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier

A chamber opera in two acts based on a true story
Sung in English

Denis & Katya is part of the Opera Forward Festival 2022. This sixth OFF edition will take place from 5 to 13 March 2022. Click on the link below to be the first to receive updates on OFF 2022!

Free online programme booklet

Click on the link below and receive the free online programme booklet before the premiere. The booklet contains beautiful images and everything you need to know about the music and cast!

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Residentie Orkest The Hague

Residentie Orkest The Hague is more than 100 years old and belongs to the great symphonic orchestras of the Netherlands. This innovative orchestra performs on important stages in the Netherlands and abroad. They open this season with their entry into the new cultural complex Amare and the start of their new chief conductor Anja Bihlmaier. Recent DNO productions that were accompanied by the Residentie Orkest The Hague were Dialogues des Carmélites, Madama Butterfly and Nabucco. In 2022, musicians of Residentie Orkest The Hague join us for the opera Denis & Katya.



Almost every performance at Dutch National Opera & Ballet is preceded by an introduction, with background information that can deepen your theater visit. The introductions are in Dutch and admission is free by showing a valid ticket.

Time: 45 minutes before the start of each performance
Location: Odeonzaal; entrance between the even and odd cloakrooms

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