Animal Farm scènebeeld
Photo: Ruth Walz

Dutch National Opera wins two International Opera Awards

10 November 2023

Last night saw Dutch National Opera bring home two prestigious International Opera Awards. The award for ‘Best World Premiere’ went to Alexander Raskatov’s Animal Farm, the opening production of the Opera Forward Festival 2023. Dutch National Opera also received the Opera Award for its efforts in sustainability.

Since its inception in 2012, the International Opera Awards has been an annual event that recognises and celebrates excellence in the world of opera, awarding outstanding artists, productions and contributions to the art form. Judging for the International Opera Awards is done by a jury of international industry professionals led by John Allison, editor-in-chief of the British monthly magazine Opera.


Bob Brandsen, Technical & Production Director at Dutch National Opera & Ballet, accepted the awards at the ceremony in Warsaw. During his acceptance speech, Brandsen said he saw the sustainability award as an encouragement for Dutch National Opera & Ballet’s efforts to become more sustainable.

One of Dutch National Opera & Ballet’s steps was the development of the Green Deal - a document discussed with each creative team. The Green Deal will see its first effects at the Opera Forward Festival in March 2024, with the world premiere of Ellen Reid’s The Shell Trial, a new opera addressing the responsibility crisis around climate change.

Best world premiere

Animal Farm - a co-production with the Wiener Staatsoper, the Finnish National Opera and the Teatro Massimo in Palermo - had its world premiere at the Opera Forward Festival that takes place in Amsterdam every March. The festival is, and will continue to be, an important and inspiring catalyst for Dutch National Opera in the development of future-proof opera and to explore new artistic directions.

Renowned theatre director, Barrie Kosky, also won an award as ‘Director of the Year’. Kosky, who is a regular at Dutch National Opera, returns in January with his vision of Handel’s Agrippina. In May 2024, Kosky rounds off his three-year Puccini cycle at Dutch National Opera with a new production of Il trittico led by chief conductor Lorenzo Viotti.