23 Dec-7 Jan ’24


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Studio Boekman

Running time



From € 12,50

The theory of everything

A magical quest for more time (8+)

The clock ticks on and the days go by, but no one knows exactly when time will slow down or fly by. Let’s bend time: that will mean more for everyone. We’ll throw away our clocks and wade across lightyears. 

Photo: Michiel Spijkers

A magical quest for more time

The spoken-word opera The Theory of Everything follows eleven-year-old Nia’s magical and philosophical quest for more time. Her grandmother, a leading scientist, wants Nia to use her amazing mathematical skills to help her in her laboratory in a joint effort to solve the physics conundrum of the theory of everything. But Nia’s uncle, a famous dancer, sees Nia’s talent for dance and wants her to spend all her time in the dance studio so she can become a great soloist. Nia could do either and wants to do both, but she doesn’t know how to manage it. She feels forced to choose. If only she had more time... 


A new domain

Different worlds meet in The Theory of Everything: not only art and science, opera and ballet, but also Western and African philosophy. By considering the concept of time from new perspectives, this production makes the case, in a light-hearted way, for changing how we look at the world and our lives.


The makers

Theatre maker Naomi van der Linden and musical director Hanne van de Vrie came up with the idea for The Theory of Everything. They previously worked together at Dutch National Opera on the Children’s Chorus Festival and the Opera Heroes project. For this family opera, they will be collaborating with the young composer Carlijn Metselaar and multidisciplinary spoken-word artist Roziena Salihu.

A family opera for the christmas holidays

Performance information

Sung and spoken in Dutch

Libretto  Roziena Salihu

Concept and stage direction  Naomi van der Linden
Concept and musical direction  Hanne van de Vrie
Choreography  Jomecia Oosterwolde
Set and costumes  Dymph Boss
Lighting  Ianthe van der Hoek
Arrangement  Jan van Eerd
Dramaturgy  Naomi Teekens

Nia  Houda Bibouda
Oma  Elena Vink
Tante  Jomecia Oosterwolde
Ensemble  Nienke Nasserian, Anna Traub, TBA

Percussion and electronics  Jan van Eerd
Piano  Charlie Bo Meyering
Cello  Geneviève Verhage

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

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Carlijn Metselaar and Rozien Salihu
Photos: Harry Rafique (left) & Kilian Kayser (right)

Carlijn Metselaar and Roziena Salihu talk about their new children’s opera

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