Dutch National Opera presents

Fortress Europe Calliope Tsoupaki

This show was to been seen in March 2017

Sign of the Times

Duration 1:30

By Calliope Tsoupaki

Language Engels

Fortress Europe is a new opera about one of the most important issues of our time: the refugee crisis. It is the first edition of Sign of the Times, a series of newly composed operas that relate to current affairs, by our partners Opera Trionfo and Asko|Schönberg.

Take a look behind the scenes at Fortress Europe with composer Calliope Tsoupaki

The story

The opera tells the story of Lady Europe and her son, the politician. Born in North Africa, Europe faced the world filled with courage and ideals as a young woman. Now she lives in isolation in her apartment in Brussels. Meanwhile, her son fulfils the task of guarding the gate to Europe. A drama unfolds that is filled with political interests, personal desires and the fear and hate of populists.

Floris Visser

Stage director

Floris Visser has rapidly gained international recognition as one of the leading talents of the next generation of opera directors. With engagements in opera houses as Opernhaus Zürich, the Bolshoi Opera, Dutch National Opera, Staatsoper Hannover & the Internationale Händelfestspiele Karlsruhe he is one of the most sought after stage directors of our present day.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Bas Wiegers
Stage Director 
Floris Visser
Set Designer 
Dieuweke van Reij
Lighting Designer 
Alex Brok
Klaus Bertisch
Nederlands Studenten Kamerkoor
Rosemary Joshua
The politican 
Erik Slik
The refugee 
Yavuz Arman İşleker


In her compositions, Calliope Tsoupaki uses elements from old and contemporary music, and music from Greece and the Middle East, combining them into her own unique musical idiom. Following her training at the Hellinicon Conservatory, in Athens, she continued her studies in the Netherlands with Louis Andriessen. She stayed in the Netherlands and has developed into one of the country’s leading composers.

In recent years, Floris Visser has had great success as a director in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2012, he was appointed Cultural Professor at TU Delft. He was the first ever Dutch director to work with the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, where he staged Mozart’s Così fan tutte. The production received five nominations for the Golden Mask, Russia’s most prestigious theatre award.

This production is part of the Opera Forward Festival and is made possible in part by:

Deze productie is onderdeel van Opera Forward Festival en wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door:

Founding Partners Opera Forward Festival

Fonds21 van den Ende Foundation


Partners Opera Forward Festival

VSB BankGiroLoterij Fonds Dioraphte Bylandtstichting