Dutch National Opera presents
FAUST [working title]
The current crisis has put an end to our scheduled season opener Mefistofele. But we won’t keep quiet. We have invited a new generation of music theatre makers from The Netherlands to fill the empty space. FAUST [working title] departs from the theme of Goethe's Faust, a prominent figure in Western culture. A large-scale performance with chorus, orchestra, soloists and a wealth of music, from classical to lesser-known repertoire.
The thirst for knowledge, but also its limits, is one of the themes central to Faust. In these confusing times, in which science simultaneously wants to provide answers and raises doubts, this theme is more topical than ever.
Faust's world view is comprehensive, but also has its limitations and blind spots. For the artistic team, the theme was therefore not only an invitation to explore the repertoire surrounding Faust, but also to look further. What if we look beyond the repertoire we are used to in opera?
Abundance of voices
The present crisis has caused immeasurable loss and fear, but has also prompted us to re-think the very foundations of our modern societies, the way we produce, and the way we live together.
FAUST [working title] opens up the space of Dutch National Opera to other sounds, music and languages, and explores the abundance of voices that are present in the world. Together with inspiring composers, arrangers and musicians from different places, the team imagines new landscapes in the world of music theatre.
'At the Dutch National Opera a miracle took place with FAUST [working title]' - 'Now something has been born out of need, something that in a short time has grown from a helpless newborn to an adult performance. One like we have never seen before. Completely unique, captivating, eye- and ear-watching and to a great extent moving. Actually De Lint could not have wished for a better start of her DNO era.'
The opera 'Faust (working title)' is colourful and agile' - 'Together with the brass players in the extreme corners of the balcony below, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra playing at full power and amplified sound effects, the spatial arrangement feels like a smothering embrace'.
"Wonderful Faust with 12 composers at Dutch National Opera' - 'The result is a miraculously spectacular coupé, or more irreverently, an eighty-minute potpourri, which repeatedly surprises the listener, although the relationship with the Faust theme is often thin and the reused set pieces (from old DNO productions) seem somewhat randomly chosen'.
Your safety is our priority. We have made some adjustments in order to ensure that it is always possible to keep a distance of 1.5 metres in our theatre.
FAUST [working title] is unlike any other performance we've ever done before. Read this short introductory text to learn more.
Concept and creation
Lisenka Heijboer Castañon, Manoj Kamps, Niels Nuijten, Antonio Cuenca Ruiz, Hendrik Walther, Janne Sterke and Akim Moiseenkov.
Compositions and arrangements
In alphabetical order: Meriç Artaç, Hector Berlioz, Arrigo Boito, Lili Boulanger, Lochlan Brown, Emmanuel Chabrier, Bruno Coulais, Julius Eastman, George Frederic Handel, Ravi Kittappa, Reinbert de Leeuw, Lingbo Ma, Florian Magnus Maier, Gustav Mahler, Grace-Evangeline Mason, Martín Mayo, Marc Migó, Akim Moiseenkov, Vasile Nedea, Florence Price, Franz Schubert, serpentwithfeet, Thuthuka Sibisi, Chavela Vargas, Rick van Veldhuizen, Claude Vivier & Maretha van der Walt
Team, Cast and Chorus
- Musical director
- Manoj Kamps
- Stage director
- Lisenka Heijboer Castañon
- Janne Sterke
- Costume design
- Janne Sterke
- Light and video design
- Hendrik Walther
- Sound design
- Akim Moiseenkov
- Antonio Cuenca Ruiz and Niels Nuijten
- Dramaturgy consultants
- meLê yamomo and Luc Joosten
- The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
- Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
- Chorus master
- Ching-Lien Wu
- Children's chorus master
- Anaïs de la Morandais
- Olga Busuioc
Fang Fang Kong
Around two weeks into the rehearsal process, we asked photographer Milagro Elstak to have a look behind the scenes.
Preview of FAUST [working title]
During the Uitmarkt Thuismarkt 2020, the Chorus of De Nationale Opera, the Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor and conductor Manoj Kamps gave a musical preview of FAUST [working title] in the foyer of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The music is the 'Prologo in cielo' from Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele.
Lisenka Heijboer CastañónStage direction & co-creation
The work of Dutch-Peruvian director Lisenka Heijboer Castañón is characterised by her love for music as a tool for storytelling, combined with a strong connection to movement theatre.
Manoj KampsMusical director & co-creation
Manoj Kamps is a Dutch-Sri Lankan queer conductor, theatre maker and composer, specialized in a wide range of repertoire, ranging from baroque to cutting-edge contemporary music.
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
For more than 30 years, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra has been the primary orchestral partner of Dutch National Opera. It is counted among the best opera orchestras of the world. In September 2021, Lorenzo Viotti will become chief conductor of both the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Opera. The Netherlands Chambers Orchestra is under the inspiring leadership of violinist Gordan Nikolić.
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
The Chorus of Dutch National Opera consists of 50 singers and is regularly supplemented by freelance chorus members for major productions. Ching-Lien Wu has been artistic director of the Chorus of Dutch National Opera since 2014.
Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
Dutch National Opera & Ballet maintains a close partnership with the Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor. The Amsterdam-based children’s chorus is part of Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam, which provides classical singing training for children and adolescents aged 4 to 21 years. Dutch National Opera & Ballet and Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam collaborate on performances as well as on the training of children and adolescents in the field of opera.
FAUST [working title] is kindly supported by