Dutch National Opera presents

The monster in the maze JONATHAN DOVE (1959)

This show was to been seen in June 2020

made by and for all ages

By Jonathan Dove

The government’s temporary decision to ban events and gatherings until 1 June 2020, in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, means that Dutch National Opera & Ballet will be closed until that date. Read more information here: operaballet.nl/corona-update

In the kingdom of Minos, there lives a fearsome creature: half man, half bull. The king keeps it locked deep inside a maze, feeding it the flesh of his enemies. Now, the king has ordered the city of Athens to sacrifice its youth – its future! – in order to feed the monster of Minos. The young hero Theseus believes that he can defeat the monster, but will he be able to keep his courage in the heart of the maze?

Dutch version
The Monster in the Maze is a ‘community opera’ inspired by the Greek myth of the Minotaur. Previously mounted in Germany, France and Britain, Dutch National Opera presents a Dutch version of the large-scale community project in this season.

All ages on stage
The Monster in the Maze casts children, teenagers and adults to sing as well as act in the story of the child-eating monster, supported by three professional singers and an actor. Instrumentation is supplied by Dutch National Opera's regular partner, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, joined in the pit by young musicians of the Almeers Jeugdorkest.

Dutch National Opera invites children (ages 8–12), young people (16–25) and adults to take part in the production of The Monster in the Maze.

Jonathan Dove
Jonathan Dove’s music has filled opera houses with delighted audiences of all ages on five continents. Few, if any, contemporary composers have so successfully or consistently explored the potential of opera to communicate, to create wonder and to enrich people’s lives. As well as three community operas for Glyndebourne, he has written Work in Progress to celebrate the completion of The Sage, Gateshead in 2005, three pieces for the London Borough of Hackney, and the award-winning cantata On Spital Fields (2005) for the Spitalfields Festival, in east London, of which he was artistic director from 2001 to 2006.

Production: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence


The Monster in the Maze
World premiere
20 June 2015
Alasdair Middleton
Ruben van Gogh

Team, Cast and Chorus

Stage Director
Marie-Ève Signeyrole
Musical director
Aldert Vermeulen
Fabien Teigné
Philippe Berthomé
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Youth Orchestra
Almeers Jeugd Symfonie Orkest, rehearsal Hans Welle
Amateur choirs
Adult choir, rehearsal Hans Veldhuizen
Youth choir, rehearsal Wouter Verhage
Children's choir, rehearsal Hanne van de Vrie
Marcel Beekman
De moeder van Theseus
Eva Kroon
Florian Just


Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra has been the principal partner of Dutch National Opera for more than 30 years and is among the world's best opera orchestras. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is the orchestra’s primary venue. Besides programmes led by chief conductor Marc Albrecht and Gordan Nicolic (musical director of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra), it also has various collaborations with internationally renowned guest conductors and soloists, as well as budding stars of the next generation of musicians. The orchestra seeks to make the classical repertoire accessible to everyone, performing not only in concert halls but also a range of unusual and more adventurous venues. By bringing people together through music, the orchestra creates beautiful and memorable musical experiences for all, from classical aficionados to new audiences. With its home base in the NedPhO-Koepel, a former church in Amsterdam's culturally diverse Indische Buurt, the orchestra plays a vital role in the community. Each year it organises some two hundred activities around music education, neighbourhood participation and talent development. In the 2019-2020 season, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is playing in the DNO productions of Pagliacci I Cavalleria rusticana, Die Walküre, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny and Die Frau ohne Schatten. The Netherlands Chamber Orchestra is playing in Così fan tutte and La Cenerentola.

Youth orchestra
Almeers Jeugd Symfonie Orkest




    Thu 14 Feb The Guardian about John Dove's composition The monster in the maze

    'Dove’s score is typically lively and direct, yet dark, ...’