6-21 September


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time



From € 35

Missa in tempore belli

A mass for the 21st century

This production of Missa in tempore belli is a dream come true for DNO’s brand-new chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti. Taking Haydn’s ‘Mass in time of war’ as its centrepiece, this special performance combines music theatre, dance, electronic composition and video.

Baroque church

Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli is like an enormous Baroque church: the orchestra and choir form a solid structure, which the soloists then embellish with beautiful, delicate ornamentation. The piece is also known as the Paukenmesse (kettledrum mass) because of the dramatic use of timpani, a theatrical touch that is unusual for a mass.

Theatrical interpretation by chorus and soloists

Theatrical interpretation

In an unusual twist Dutch National Opera is presenting the mass in a fully staged version. Director Barbora Horáková reveals the flipside of the steadfast faith that runs through every note of Haydn’s mass, poignantly portraying individuals who suffer under the heavy burden of a narrowminded, one-sided ideology.


Chorus and soloists

The Missa has a starring role for the wonderful Chorus of Dutch National Opera. Up-and-coming tenor Mingjie Lei makes his DNO debut. This production also marks the return to the stage of mezzo-soprano Polly Leech, an alumna of our own Dutch National Opera Studio.



Swiss-Israeli electronic composer Janiv Oron responds to Haydn’s music with beats and sound effects, all created live. These extra sound worlds offer a counterbalance to the religious conviction articulated by the Missa.

Collaboration with Dutch National Ballet

It was Lorenzo Viotti’s express wish to open the season with a production involving dancers from Dutch National Ballet alongside ‘his’ Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch National Opera Chorus.

Spanish choreographer Juanjo Arqués, closely associated with Dutch National Ballet, creates a new choreography for nine dancers, giving physical expression to the contrasts that are central to Horáková’s vision.

Performance information

New production

Musical direction  Lorenzo Viotti
Stage direction, set design and lighting design Barbora Horáková
Choreography  Juanjo Arqués
Associate set designer Sieger Kotterer
Associate lighting designer Peter van der Sluis
Video  Simon Haenggi | Hervé Thiot
Dramaturgy  Niels Nuijten

Soprano  Janai Brugger
Alto  Polly Leech
Tenor  Mingjie Lei
Bass  Johannes Kammler

Orchestra Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Chorus Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master Lionel Sow

Sung in Latin


Free programme booklet

Click on the link below and receive the online programme booklet before the premiere. With beautiful images and more information about the music and the cast.

Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

For over 35 years, The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra have been Dutch National Opera's primary orchestral partners. The orchestra is regarded as one of the best opera orchestras in the world. In September 2021, Lorenzo Viotti will become the chief conductor of both the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Opera.

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

In addition to its opera tasks, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is a regular performer in The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The orchestra works with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as representatives of a new generation of top musicians. The orchestra makes classical music accessible to everyone who is open to it: not only on the big stages, but also in community centres, schools and hospitals. In this way, the orchestra provides the finest and best music experience for both classical connoisseurs and new listeners.

With its hospitable home auditoriu, the NedPhO Dome in Amsterdam's 'Indische buurt', the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is right at the heart of society. Every year, the Orchestra organizes around two hundred activities for music education, neighbourhood participation and talent development.



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