22 Oct-29 Oct ’23; tour 5, 12 Nov '23


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Studio Boekman

Running time



From € 12,50

A song for the moon

Based on the book by Toon Tellegen (6+)

“A wonderful production for young and adult audiences alike”, wrote the Dutch newspaper NRC after the premiere of A Song for the Moon. Theaterkrant magazine concluded that the production “deserves to become a regular part of the repertoire”. After a break of two years, this heart-warming children's opera about the power of music is back.

Photo: Michel Spijkers

Based on the book by Toon Tellegen (6+)

The lonely Mole decides to write a song to cheer up the Moon. The Grasshopper rehearses with his orchestra until they have mastered the song and then one night they give an amazing concert. But why does the Moon look so sad afterwards?


‘My first opera’

A Song for the Moon is based on Toon Tellegen’s book of the same name, a fable about the power of music. Composer Mathilde Wantenaar turned the story into a wonderful ‘My first opera’ experience for a young audience and their parents. It is an accessible yet multi-layered work of music theatre that does precisely what the story is about, namely letting the music move you emotionally.


Making contact

When Mathilde Wantenaar read Toon Tellegen’s book A Song for the Moon, she fell in love with it immediately. “The story appealed to my musical imagination. It deals with important topics such as loneliness, identity, disappointment and friendship. It is also about the power of music and the ability to make contact with one another.” Wantenaar got to know stage director Béatrice Lachaussée and set designer Nele Ellegiers during a workshop organised by ENOA (European Network of Opera Academies), which DNO is involved in. The idea for this children’s opera emerged from their discussions together.

Performance information

Sung in Dutch

Libretto  Mathilde Wantenaar and Willem Bruls, based on the book by Toon Tellegen

Stage direction  Béatrice Lachaussée
Set and costume design  Nele Ellegiers
Video design  Coen Bouman
Lighting design  Cor van den Brink
Dramaturgy  Willem Bruls
Musical coach  Leonard Evers

Mole  Vera Fiselier
Field mouse / Moon  Ginette Puylaert
Dormouse / Cricket  Eline Welle
Frog  Jan-Willem Schaafsma
Grasshopper / Earthworm  Berend Eijkhout
Shrew  Mirna Ackers

Nationaal Jeugdorkest  (National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands)

Commission and co-production  of Dutch National Opera, De Munt (Brussel), Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía (Madrid), Opera Zuid (Maastricht)

School performances
A number of performances will be given especially for schools. Look here for more information.

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Lied voor de maan
The Mole | Photo: Kim Krijnen
Lied voor de maan
The Grasshopper | Photo: Kim Krijnen
National Youth Orchestra

National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands

The NJO National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands was founded in 1957 and has been offering a stage to young talented musicians between 18 and 26 for over sixty years. Since 2019, the National Youth Orchestra and the Jeugdorkest Nederland have joined forces as Nationale Jeugdorkesten Nederland. Earlier, the orchestra performed at Dutch National Opera in their productions of Il matrimonio segreto and The Boy who grew too fast. In the season 2023-2024, the National Youth Orchestra will be featured in the youth opera A Song for the Moon.

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