Scènebeeld uit Rigoletto

Productions 2024 – 2025 season

Dutch National Opera

This season, we have a large selection of fifteen opera productions. The whole opera programme for the 2024 – 2025 season can be found here.

Maia Makhateli in Notenkraker & Muizenkoning

Productions 2024 – 2025 season

Dutch National Ballet

This season, we have a large selection of thirteen ballet productions. The whole ballet programme for the 2024 – 2025 season can be found here.

Start of ticket sales

Regular ticket sales for the first half of the season have now started. 

From the 22nd of August you can purchase tickets for the second half of the season. Don’t want to miss this on-sale moment? Sign up for our ticket alert to be notified when sales open.

Stijn Schoonderwoerd

Interview with general director Stijn Schoonderwoerd

Artistic excellence, sustainability, inclusivity, and talent development. These are important themes for Dutch National Opera & Ballet, and they will remain focal points in the upcoming season. General director Stijn Schoonderwoerd sees it as his personal mission to ensure that these themes permeate every aspect of the organisation.

Interview with general director Stijn Schoonderwoerd

Stijn Schoonderwoerd
Stijn Schoonderwoerd | Photo: Elmer van der Marel

Dutch National Opera & Ballet comprises an opera company, a ballet company, a large and, since the end of last year, also a small theatre, training programmes for emerging talents, an impressive stage technology department, multiple floors housing costume and props workshops, and an extensive external production workshop. Stijn Schoonderwoerd serves as general director of this dynamic production house. Schoonderwoerd: “Dutch National Opera & Ballet is an institution that operates at the highest level. This holds true not only for the artists that grace our stage but for the entire organisation. Even behind the scenes, the best in the field engage in top sport.”

Many productions at Dutch National Opera & Ballet are created entirely in-house. The skilled artisans in the workshops don’t just execute designs; they also play a pivotal role in the creative process. “For instance, when sets or costumes are crafted, an interaction often unfolds between the artisans in the workshops and the artistic team of the production, which includes directors and designers. This ongoing collaboration keeps the process engaging for all parties involved. It’s fascinating for our colleagues in the workshops to actively contribute to the design process, and for the artistic team, it’s a pleasure to witness how their ideas come to life.”

Sustainability without compromising on quality

In discussions between the artistic teams and the workshops, sustainability is growing in importance. Schoonderwoerd: “We are constantly exploring ways to produce sustainably without sacrificing quality. It’s a significant challenge that cannot be accomplished overnight. However, we can harness the expertise of our artisans, who can propose sustainable materials that can result in an equally exquisite artistic end product.” According to Schoonderwoerd, a change in mindset is also essential. “In the theatre world, it’s still very common to design and produce everything from scratch for each production, but we are increasingly trying to initiate conversations about reuse as well.”

However, sustainability encompasses more than just the production of performances: “It is a subject that permeates the entire organisation. Everything related to creating art actually generates CO2 emissions; from our business trips to the food and beverages we offer our visitors. We’ve already taken some good steps here. For example, we addressed our waste streams a while ago and we utilise green energy and predominantly use LED lighting. But there is still plenty to do in the upcoming season!”

New audience and fresh talent

Inclusivity is another key focus for this season, an area where Schoonderwoerd stresses the need for constant self-examination: “For instance, which stories do we tell and who are the artists bringing these stories to our stage? With the recent opening of Studio Boekman late last year, we’ve gained an additional space for delving deeper into such questions. This intimate venue provides opportunities for innovative collaborations and different types of performances, with the aim of attracting a new and diverse audience.”

Studio Boekman also serves as an excellent platform for nurturing young talent. “This includes singers and dancers from our Dutch National Opera Studio and Junior Company. By involving these emerging talents early in their careers, we can support them in their ongoing development, and they can familiarise themselves with our style and way of working. In essence, the same principle applies here as it does to our productions: we don’t just welcome the finished product; our involvement begins at the outset.”

Schoonderwoerd concludes, “For all these evolutions – from sustainability to talent cultivation – we must venture into uncharted territories and embrace risks, all amid a period of financial uncertainty. I see it as a personal challenge to ensure we can continue pursuing our objectives, even as the world around us undergoes significant transformations. This demands unwavering confidence in this remarkable institution, and that’s definitely something I have.”

Text: Rosalie Overing