1. How and when did you start working at Dutch National Opera & Ballet (description schooling / career)?
In 1997, after finishing high school, I was considered too young and inexperienced at the theatres where I wanted to work. I was nevertheless hired at HAL4, a “flat floor theatre” in Rotterdam. HAL4 had a very diverse program, from events and film sets to concerts and stage performances. I worked there until 2000, when the Rotterdamse Schouwburg invited me to come and have a talk. Two weeks after the interview I was hired as a lighting specialist.
In 2006 there was a vacancy for a first lighting technician at the Ro Theater, which, like Dutch National Opera & Ballet (DNO&B), is a large theatre company that makes its own productions. I didn't think I was experienced enough for the job, but Bram de Ronde, the company's business manager at the time, hired me. I specialized here as a first lighting technician and worked with actors Jack Wouterse, Arjan Ederveen and Alex Klaassen, among others.
In 2016, the Ro Theater merged with the Rotterdamse Schouwburg to become Theater Rotterdam, and so I was reunited with my former colleagues. But with the merger, the artistic views changed as well: big performances became smaller, and during the corona pandemic, family performances also disappeared from the stage. The grand theatre I loved so much was no longer there. Meanwhile, in addition to my lighting work, I had been working on policy and planning for a while, so when the vacancy for head of Lighting at DNO&B came up, I thought: ‘Yes! This is what I'm looking for!’ Fortunately, at DNO&B they thought so as well and as of 1 September 2021, I am their head of Lighting. So far there have been enough challenges, as well as grandeur!
2. What makes your craft/job so special within DNO&B and what makes it so special to yourself?
I really enjoy light and the directions of light. I love light that brings a set to life, makes everything come together, supports the performance. And with such big sets, such a big stage and such amazing technical possibilities, DNO&B is like a Valhalla to me.
3. What is your favorite production seen from your craft’s / job’s perspective? Do you have any special memories of that production?
Of course, I have not been working here for very long, and I must admit that I am new to opera. So the choice is limited, but this season, and from my job’s perspective, I would say Anna Bolena. You didn't see the light, but you ‘felt’ it all the more. And if you don't notice it, you're doing it right!
Last update: 04-10-2022.