6-22 October 2022


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time



From €20


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.

Photo: composer Engelbert Humperdinck

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  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
Der Ratsälteste  Henk Poort
Der Wirt  Roger Smeets
Der Wirtstochter  Kai Rüütel
Der Schneider  Lucas van Lierop
Die Stallmagd  Eva Kroon

Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorusmaster Edward Ananian-Cooper

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

Humperdincks forgotten masterpiece is brought to the stage by awardwinning director Christof Loy

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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.

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