Message from mezzo-soprano Katia Ledoux to her younger self
On Sunday 11 October, Dutch National Opera presented the evening “The lands in which I live burst out in archipelagos” as part of Black Achievement Month. One of the panelists was the French mezzo-soprano Katia Ledoux. She sent us a video giving her younger self seven tips on how to stay sane in the opera industry as a black opera singer.
The Story of Ritratto
There are few operas with a creative process as turbulent as that of Willem Jeths’ opera Ritratto. In March, the cast and crew were told on the day of the dress rehearsal that this would be their only performance. The online streaming of this dress rehearsal was a resounding success during the lockdown. Now, six months later, the opera finally has had its offline world premiere, in an adjusted and coronaproof version, that is, according to director Marcel Sijm “a big step beyond the dress rehearsal”.
Experience the re-shaping of Ritratto in this video. With unique insights from singers Verity Wingate, Martin Mhkize and Gerben van der Werf and director Marcel Sijm.
Kids discover opera
What happens if you show clips of famous operas to young children? "I didn't know they were also sexy in opera!"
Song from Home - Lilian Farahani
Soprano Lilian Farahani sings the song ‘Stekelvarkentjes Wiegenlied’ by Annie M.G. Schmidt and Paul Christiaan van Westering, accompanied by pianist Henry Kelder. Lilian used to sing this song when she was a child and loves the message of the song, about acceptance.
SEAL LULLABY - Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
Het Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor, onderdeel van Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam, is de vaste kinderkoor-partner van Nationale Opera & Ballet. Dit seizoen zouden zij eigenlijk meezingen in de opera’s Die Frau ohne Schatten en Carmen, maar door de lockdown kon dat niet doorgaan. Toch blijven ze zingen! Samen met het Nieuw Amsterdams Jeugdkoor namen zij deze ‘virtual choir video’ van Seal Lullaby (Eric Whitacre) op onder leiding van dirigent Anaïs de la Morandais en op piano begeleid door Kimball Huijgens.
Last vocal warm-up with Cameron
In his final vocal warm-up, Cameron Shahbazi, Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio, will help you with dissonance. He does so with the aid of 'I Will Remember You' by Sarah McLachlan. An appropriate title, because we will never forget your vocal warm-ups, Cameron!
Warm-up with Cameron Shahbazi on a mash-up of Céline Dion
Cameron Shahbazi, Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio has a new classic hit for you in store! This week, the Canadian countertenor sings a mash-up of his world-famous compatriot Céline Dion. Even though this is the second to last vocal warm-up, our heart will always go on for you Cameron!
Chorus members share their favourite piece: Va Pensiero - Nabucco
Verdi’s Nabucco was our last opera performance for a live audience before we had to close our doors. In this last video from the series ‘Chorus members share their favourite piece’, singers Tigran Matinyan, Fang Fang Kong and Kitty de Geus from the Chorus of Dutch National Opera share their perspective on the famous Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. “The biggest musical challenge in this piece is that the entire chorus works as a single organism. 86 singers have to phrase and breathe as one.”
THANK YOU MAESTRO
Highlights of chief conductor Marc Albrecht his work at Dutch National Opera
Opera warm-up with Shakira by Cameron Shahbazi
This is a vocal warm-up which you can do ‘Whenever, Wherever’. Cameron Shahbazi, Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio, reimagines Shakira's classic hit. This week, Cameron is not only going to help you warm up the lower middle part of the voice, but also the imagination, the special ingredient which helps with legato, vowel matching and intent.
sONG FROM HOME
Armenian soprano Julietta Alkesanyan from the Dutch National Opera Studio sang the role of Clorinda last season in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and today she would like to share a ‘Song from Home’. Accompanied by pianist and répétiteur Lochlan Brown, Julietta sings her ‘Hoy Nazan’ written by the Armenian composer and priest Komitas. “This song is just about love and I hope that it brings you lots of love and positive energy to your day.”
Opera warm-up with Christina Aguilera by Cameron Shahbazi
It’s time for a new vocal warm-up with Cameron Shahbazi, Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio! This week, Cameron helps you to warm up something special, your heart. In these challenging times we can all use some positivity. “As a performer, as a musician, as a human being, it requires a lot of courage to go and do what we do. I think it’s important that every day you look at yourself in the mirror and you say: I’m good, I believe in you, you can do it.” Check out the vocal warm-up to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’.
Chorus members share their favourite chorus piece
To experience opera from the auditorium is a special experience, but how does our Chorus experience opera on our stage? We asked singers Myra Kroese, Yvonne Kok and Julien Traniello to highlight their most impressive moment. They chose ‘How dark’ from Georg Friedrich Händel’s Jephtha. “The melody reaches up, especially in these times we have to believe. To keep hoping that this all has meaning” - Julien Traniello. You can see the whole piece here: JEPHTA - How Dark
sONG FROM HOME
Recently we streamed Roméo et Juliette on our YouTube channel (until 7 June), starring tenor Ismael Jordi as Roméo. Right now, Ismael is at home in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Accompanied by Gabriel Mateo and Rubén Páez, the Spanish tenor sings his Song from Home ‘Quiéreme Mucho’, a song that his mentor Alfredo Kraus often sang at concerts.
OPERA WARM-UP WITH DOLLY PARTON AND ADELE
It’s time again for a new vocal warm-up with Cameron Shahbazi, Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio! Cameron helps you this time to use the upper part of your voice to a mash-up of classic hits. Check out the vocal warm-up to Dolly Parton's 'I will always love you’ and Adeles ‘Someone like you’ here.
SONG FROM HOME
South-African baritone Martin Mkhize from the Dutch National Opera Studio recently sang the role of Garbi in Willem Jeths’ Ritratto, an opera that had its world premiere on YouTube. Today Martin would like to share a ‘Song from Home’ with you. He performs a serenade sung by the character of Nelson Mandela in the South-African opera: Madiba: The African Opera.
Three Little Maids
Singers of the Dutch National Opera Studio Julietta Aleksanyan, Verity Wingate and Polly Leech can’t sing together in our theatre at the moment, but they found a way to do it from their homes! Together with pianist and répétiteur Lochlan Brown, they perform 'Three Little Maids' from the classic Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Mikado.
OPERA WARM-UP WITH CHER
Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio Cameron Shahbazi is back with a vocal warm-up that won't make your neighbors go crazy. This week Cameron helps you with the bottom of the voice and intervals. Again he's using another pop hit to do so. This is Cher like you have never heard before.
Chorus members share their favourite piece
Songs from Home: Sandrine Piau
Vocal opera warm-up with hit songs by Cameron Shahbazi
Associate Artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio Cameron Shahbazi is back with a vocal warm-up that won't make your neighbors go crazy. This week Cameron helps you with resonance, the secret ingredient to help you cut through an orchestra. This week, he's using another pop hit. It's Lizzo like you have never heard before.
Song from home - Cecilia Molinari
Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Molinari sang the role of Angelina in Rossini’s exuberant opera La Cenerentola earlier this season. Cecilia is currently spending her time in the Italian town Riva del Garda, where she is surrounded by nature and her family. Today Cecilia shares a 'Song from Home' which reminds her of home. She sings the polyphonic (!) ‘Signore delle cime’ for by the composer Giuseppe - Bepi - De Marzi.
Vocal opera warm-up with hit songs
Opera-singers have to train their voice, especially under lock down. Cameron Shahbazi found a way to warm-up without turning his neighbours crazy; he uses top 40 hits that everybody loves.
Chorusmembers share their favourite musicpiece
We asked the singers of the chorus of Dutch National Opera to highlight one of their most memorable chorus moments. Mezzo-soprano Elsa Barthas, alto Valerie Friesen and mezzo-soprano Itzel Medecigo did not have to think twice. The fragment ‘Au secours’ from Carmen is a special memory for all of them. “It was so special because this was my first production, and then that 80-headed chorus with each their own sound, a voice behind you and singing together. Goosebumps, I get it again now I think of it!” - Valerie Friesen.
Song from home - Elza van den Heever
Soprano Elza van den Heever was supposed to sing in the opera Die Frau ohne Schatten this month. Unfortunately, Elza is not performing right now, but at home, in France. “I think in times like these it’s so important for music to prevail, because music is what gives us hope. It’s what keeps us going.” Today Elza shares a 'Song from Home' by the South-African composer Pieter de Villiers. She sings ‘Aandblom is 'n witblom’.
Video introduction to Wozzeck
In this introductory video, Niels Nuijten, assistant dramaturg at Dutch National Opera and Lisenka Heijboer, the assistent to director Krzysztof Warlikowski, discuss Alban Bergs Wozzeck and help you enrich your experience.
Song from home - J'Nai Bridges
Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges was supposed to sing the role of Carmen in the opera Carmen next month. Because of the current situation, J’Nai is not rehearsing in the Netherlands right now, but she is at home, in America. Today J’Nai sings a 'Song from Home' that she has been singing a lot lately because the lyrics are very relatable. She sings ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ by Margaret Bonds.
Chorus members about 'Seht die Sonne' - Gurre-Lieder
Director of Dutch National Opera, Sophie de Lint, invites you to watch with her this gala full of highlights from the opera repertoire.
Watch the video introduction to Tosca
On Sunday April 19 at 7 pm (CET), we will be streaming Puccini's Tosca on our YouTube channel. For the occasion, our editor Laura Roling and Hein van Eekert (radio host & opera conaisseur), have joined forces for a video introduction to this opera. Available with English subtitles.
Tomas Serrien his OFF Talk about vulnerability
Chorus Dutch National Opera sings Easter Hymn
The singers of the chorus of Dutch National Opera are not able to perform at the moment, but still want to to share their beautiful voices with you! That's why they sing, each from their own home, the beautiful hymn from the opera Cavalleria rusticana. The part of Santuzza is beautifully sung by mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili.
Eugene Onegin gallery
On Sunday 5 April, we streamed Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, directed by Stefan Herheim. His colourful production featured a colourful parade of Russian history. The stream, with Mariss Jansons conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, is available up until 11 April!
Rosemary Joshua announces Easter Programming
Watch this video announcement in which soprano Rosemary Joshua, the artistic director of our Opera Studio and the vixen in Sunday's opera stream of The Cunning Little Vixen.
Thomas Oliemans invites you to Die Zauberflöte
Streaming tomorrow at 7pm (CET) here and on our YouTube Channel.
Verity Wingate invites you to Ritratto
Tomorrow at 2 pm Ritratto will still have its online world premiere. Ritratto is shown in its entirety on this page and on the YouTube channel of Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Soprano Verity Wingate invites you to look at this living work of art together. Are you watching? #staysafe