Dates

6-22 Oct 2022

Location

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

3:45, incl. 2 intervals

Tickets

n.a.

Königskinder

A heartbreaking fairy-tale opera

In this fairy tale, the villain is not a witch, but mankind. Engelbert Humperdinck’s Königskinder is a tragic story about a goose girl and a prince who fall in love. Together, they overcome magical obstacles and their own prejudices, but are misunderstood and rejected by the harsh society they live in.

A heartbreaking fairy-tale opera

Composer Engelbert Humperdinck is best known for his much-loved Hänsel und Gretel: a fairy-tale opera with a classic happily-ever-after ending, which stands in sharp contrast to Königskinder (1910). In Königskinder, the goose girl and the prince discover that a person’s true worth is measured by how they treat others and the world in general – that what truly matters is on the inside. This insight makes them ideal leaders, especially for one particular village that is desperately seeking a new ruler. The villagers, however, fail to see this potential in the young couple. Only in death do the two ‘royal children’ eventually find their kingdom.

 

Marc Albrecht returns to Dutch National Opera

This production sees Marc Albrecht, chief conductor of Dutch National Opera from 2011 to 2020 and winner of the Opera Award for ‘Best Conductor’ in 2019, return to Amsterdam. His past collaboration with the orchestra gave rise to countless legendary interpretations of operas by Wagner, Strauss, Zemlinsky and Schreker. Königskinder, a rich, multifaceted opera from the late Romantic era, gives both Albrecht and the orchestra an additional opportunity to showcase their wide-ranging grasp of this repertoire.

After collaborating on a highly acclaimed Tannhäuser at DNO, Albrecht once again joins forces with director Christof Loy. With his ability to dig deep and strong musical directing style, Loy is an audience favourite in Amsterdam – as well as a two-time winner of the Prix d’Amis, awarded by the Friends of Dutch National Opera. For this production, Loy draws inspiration from Michael Haneke’s film The White Ribbon, creating a dark and ominous setting for a story that never gets old: the inherent cruelty of mankind at the expense of the individual.

Performance information

Fairy-tale opera in three acts

Sung in German

Libretto  Ernst Rosmer (Elsa Bernstein-Porges)

Musical direction  Marc Albrecht
Stage direction and choreography  Christof Loy
Set design  Johannes Leiacker
Costume design  Barbara Drosihn
Lighting design  Olaf Winter
Dramaturgy  Klaus Bertisch

Der Königssohn  Daniel Behle
Die Gänsemagd  Olga Kulchynska 
Der Spielmann  Josef Wagner
Die Hexe  Doris Soffel
Der Holzhacker  Sam Carl
Der Besenbinder  Michael Pflumm
Die Tochter des Besenbinders  Isabel Houtmortels (6, 13, 18 Oct), Anna Kemper** (9, 11, 16, 22 Oct)
Der Ratsälteste  Henk Poort
Der Wirt  Roger Smeets
Die Wirtstochter  Kai Rüütel
Der Schneider  Lucas van Lierop
Die Stallmagd  Eva Kroon
Zwei Torwächter  Hans Pieter Herman*, Christiaan Peters*
Eine Frau  Yvonne Kok*
Die Liebe Camille Joubert (violin)

* Chorus of Dutch National Opera
** Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master Edward Ananian-Cooper

Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor (part of Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam)
Children’s chorus master  Anaïs de la Morandais

Couldn't you see Königskinder?

Listen to NTR Opera Live

Trailer - Königskinder

Trailer - Königskinder
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scène uit Königskinder | Foto: Monika Rittershaus
Scene from Königskinder | Photo: Monika Rittershaus

Online programme

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

In the media
7 October

 BRILLIANTLY BRIGHT PERFORMANCE OF HUMPERDINCK'S FAIRY TALE OPERA’’ 

‘‘Olga Kulchynska (soprano) and Daniel Behle (tenor) in the title roles perform their characters with intensity and glow. 

7 October

FORGOTTEN OPERA 'KÖNIGSKINDER' IS A TREAT FOR THE EYE AND EAR’’ 

‘‘With Humperdinck's 'forgotten' opera Königskinder, conductor Marc Albrecht made an ideal comeback at DNO, with a delightfully playing Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and a terrific cast. 

9 October

A STAGING THAT SHINES WITH POIGNANT BEAUTY’’ 

‘‘An evening not to be lightly forgotten, an opera like few others with music of impeccable quality.

 

7 October

HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL KÖNIGSKINDER AT DNO’’

‘‘This series of performances offers an excellent opportunity to experience this rarely played masterpiece by Humperdinck for once.  

9 October

Königskinder is most moving when Humperdinck shows himself to be a true fairy tale storyteller who can evoke the bygone love dream of a dying person with a simple vocal line and a lone violin.

Artists
Cast
Isabel Houtmortels
Isabel Houtmortels
die Tochter des Besenbinders
read more
NedPho

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Dutch National Opera has a long-standing and proud history with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | the Nether­lands Chamber Orchestra, which has been its main orchestra partner for the past 30 years. It is widely considered to be one of the best opera orchestras in the world.

© Melle Meivogel

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Naturally, it also performs in concerts of its own and then its go-to venue is the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In addition to its collabo­ration with chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti and music director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra Gordan Nikolić, the orchestra regularly works with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as a whole new generation of excellent musicians. It has played on countless stages, using music to connect people by giving exceptional performances that inspire both connoisseurs and novices alike. The orches­tra's base is in the warm and welcoming NedPhO-Dome in the ‘lndische Buurt’ in Amsterdam, ensuring it is at the heart of the community. In this way, the orchestra hopes to make classical music more approachable to a wider audience.

Season 2022/23 will see the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra join us for our season-opener Carmenas well as for Königs­kinder, Turandot and Der RosenkavalierThe Netherlands Chamber Orchestra will provide the orchestral accompani­ment for Animal Farm and Maria Stuarda.

Königskinder - podcast

In this (Dutch) podcast, you will hear a brief introduction to the music of Königskinder performed by repetitor Ernst Munneke behind the piano. Together with dramaturge Laura Roling, they explore Wagner’s influence on this opera, the musical characterisation of the various main characters, and a few fun facts, such as the sound of the animal world.

Podcast

Behind-the-scenes Königskinder

Behind-the-scenes Königskinder
Read more
Daniel Behle

Daniel Behle: “My role in Königskinder is a kind of Tamino-plus”

Read more
Sleeping Beauty

Fairy tales on the stage: between fantasy and reality

Read more
Königskinder

5 reasons to look forward to... Königskinder

Read more

Teaser Königskinder

Königskinder teaser

5 reasons to look forward to Königskinder

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