To live forever: it’s possible as an upload, a digital version of yourself. It sounds like science fiction, but in the not-all-too-distant future, it will be possible to transfer our memories, thoughts and experiences to an artificial brain. Houthoff offers you exclusive access to the opera film Upload. An impressive production by Dutch composer Michel van der Aa about the possibility of eternal life by uploading your mind to the cloud. A utopia for some; it means we can exist forever and that our loved ones would never have to miss us. But what are the consequences for our humanity, our identity and for our relationships?

Introduction by Stijn Schoonderwoerd, General Director Dutch National Opera & Ballet

Introduction by Stijn Schoonderwoerd

Watch the film opera Upload



What if our minds could live forever—if advances in artificial intelligence and neuroscience offered us a way to transfer our memories and experiences into a sustainable digital consciousness? Against the backdrop of present-day and near-future technologies, Michel van der Aa’s provocative new opera Upload explores age-old philosophical questions: What are the limits of human memory, and what happens when we are unable to forget? Where do our identities really reside—in our minds, our bodies, our relationships? And how far do the raw data of our lives determine our fate?

Acclaimed British baritone Roderick Williams and American soprano Julia Bullock, one of the most exciting and fastest-rising stars of the opera stage, play the roles of a father and daughter ineluctably confronted with such questions when his consciousness is “uploaded” following a traumatic event. Van der Aa, who wrote the music and libretto for the opera, also directs this stylistically inventive version for the screen, with the operatic duo’s stellar performances complemented by a cast of compelling screen actors. Motion capture graphics by Darien Brio and striking visual effects by fractal artist Julius Horsthuis add to the uncanny immersiveness of this unique production from one of opera’s most audacious creators.

Dutch National Opera & Ballet thanks