4-9 May 2024


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Studio Boekman

Running time

approx. 1:30, no interval


From € 15

Frieda Belinfante

Musical meets opera

Resistance activist, cellist, queer – but above all the first woman ever to conduct her own symphony orchestra. In partnership with Stichting Boon en Ster, Dutch National Opera is proud to present a one-woman musical about the life and times of the fascinating Frieda Belinfante (1904-1995).

Musical tribute to a pioneer with a fighting spirit

A first short version of this music theatre performance was developed in 2022 by writer Sietse Remmers, composer Frank Irving, stage director Sytske van der Ster, and actress and singer Esther Lindenbergh. Dutch National Opera felt that now was the time for an extended version with live musical accompaniment. The production will be presented as part of Theater Na de Dam, the annual theatre manifestation on the night of 4 May, the day of Remembrance of the Dead in the Netherlands, honouring those who died during WWII and subsequent conflicts. 

Lindenbergh, who plays Frieda, will take us on a journey through Frieda’s life set to music performed by the Chekhov Trio. Over the course of 75 minutes, we will catch a glimpse of her childhood years in Amsterdam, her sexual awakening, the wartime years, her subsequent depression, and her new life in the United States, where she forged a successful career as a conductor and met the love of her life. 

Online programmaboek

Er is een online programmaboek beschikbaar. Klik hier om het te lezen.


Sung/spoken in Dutch 
(without surtitles) 

Concept and text  Sietse Remmers
Concept and composition  Frank Irving
Concept and stage direction  Sytske van der Ster
Additional compositions, musical coordination  Leonard Evers
Costumes  Aldo Vreeburg
Design  Elian Smits
Set design  Okodi - Tess Ellis
Lighting design  Coen van der Hoeven
Dramaturgy  Céline Buren
Choreography  Aisa Lafour

Frieda Belinfante  Esther Lindenbergh

Chekhov Trio  Fem Devos, Emma Rhebergen, Anna Litvinenko
Due to an injury, violinist Emma Rhebergen will be replaced by Martine Velthuis
Clarinet  Neus Molero
Vocals  Lente de Vries, Delaja Verduin, Liesl Torfs, Fem Devos, 
Martine Velthuis, Anna Litvinenko

Arrangements by Leonard Evers of fragments from:
Henriette Bosmans, celloconcert nr 2
Robert Schumann, celloconcert 
Leo Smit, kwintet voor fluit, strijktrio en harp
Maurice Ravel, fragmentopname menuet uit 'Le Tombeau de Couperin', uitvoering Walter Gieseking (1937)
Maurice Ravel, pianotrio
Antonín Dvořák, negende symphonie 'Uit de nieuwe wereld' 

Coproduction  Stichting Boon en Ster
Made possible with financial support from 
Dutch National Opera, Fonds 21, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten, Fonds Podiumkunsten and Het Cultuurfonds

School performances (12+)
A number of performances will be given especially for schools on 14 May. 

This performance draws upon various sources, including the biography ‘Een schitterend vergeten leven’ by Toni Boumans, several documentaries that have been released, and conversations with surviving family members of Frieda. The performance is based on facts, but certain events and names have been altered.

Trailer Frieda Belinfante

Frieda Belinfante

Ticket prices

  • Children aged 16 and under, City Pass & CJP: € 15,00
  • Adults: € 20,00

Prices exclude € 2,00 booking fee per ticket.

Order tickets

Frieda Belinfante will also be performed in a few other Dutch theatres. Click here to see an overview of the tour.

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in the media

A monument to a great conductor and resistance hero - Clever is how the performance makes the growing menace of the 1930s and the war years felt. People suddenly disappearing, the fear of being arrested, [...]

5 May

Frieda Belinfante is musical theatre with flair, drive and speed - The informal, student-like nature of the setting at Dutch National Opera and a direction without fuss make you spellbound on top of the characters and the story.

6 May
At gunpoint?
Frieda Belinfante (2022 - first version) | Photos: Annelies Verhelst
As conductor
The cellist
Frieda Belinfante on violin
All alone
The conductor
Frieda Belinfante (2022 - first version) | Photos: Annelies Verhelst
the conductor

World War II resistance activist, first female conductor and much more

About Frieda Belinfante and how she was forgotten in the Netherlands 


Theater Na de Dam - logo

Theater Na de Dam

These performances are part of the national theatre event Theater Na de Dam. On the evening of National Remembrance Day, on 4 May, theatre makers and artists throughout the Netherlands devote themselves to lending extra significance to this day. Every year, more than a hundred performances take place at the same time, each of which addresses World War II in its own way.