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New season: A new beginning

Theatre
Lorenzo Viotti

Dutch National Opera

Productions season 21/22

In the new season, the urgency of opera will be explored more than ever, according to director Sophie de Lint. View all productions of the 2021/2022 season.

HNB 60 jaar

Dutch National Ballet

Productions season 21/22

In September, Dutch National Ballet will celebrate its 60th anniversary! View all productions of the festive anniversary season 2021/2022 here. 

Sophie de Lint

Interview Sophie de Lint

In many ways the upcoming opera season will be a time of new beginnings, as represented not only by Lorenzo Viotti starting his tenure as chief conductor but also by the great variety of projects on the programme. In the words of DNO director Sophie de Lint: ‘More than ever, we’re committed to exploring the urgency of opera.’

‘This season will be a celebration of performing arts’

In many ways the upcoming opera season will be a time of new beginnings, as represented not only by Lorenzo Viotti starting his tenure as chief conductor but also by the great variety of projects on the programme. In the words of DNO director Sophie de Lint: ‘More than ever, we’re committed to exploring the urgency of opera.’

In many ways the upcoming opera season will be a time of new beginnings, as represented not only by Lorenzo Viotti starting his tenure as chief conductor but also by the great variety of projects on the programme. In the words of DNO director Sophie de Lint: ‘More than ever, we’re committed to exploring the urgency of opera.’

This outlook can be seen in the two productions with which Maestro Viotti opens the season, conducting ‘his’ Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. ‘The season will begin with Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, an absolute masterpiece, directed by renowned Dutch film and theatre director Nanouk Leopold. This will be her first foray into opera. It’s an impressive work that succeeds in marrying the power of opera to an urgent, deeply human theme: how do we treat others?’

Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli will be presented during the same period. This will not be a purely musical version of this special mass, but rather a full-scale production that unites different artforms. ‘Both projects exemplify Lorenzo’s passion for collaboration and for building bridges. Besides putting on Der Zwerg, his dream was to bring together the Chorus of Dutch National Opera and the dancers of Dutch National Ballet on stage. With director Barbara Horáková, choreographer Juanjo Arqués and electronic composer Janiv Oron, he invites these different artforms to enter into a thrilling dialogue.’

Later in the season Lorenzo Viotti will also conduct a new production of Puccini’s Tosca. ‘This highly dramatic opera kicks off a three-year Puccini cycle, overseen by Maestro Viotti and celebrated opera director Barrie Kosky, who is one of the strongest, most exciting and most surprising storytellers in opera. His Tosca will be a true “opera noir”.’

 

Flexible programming

The focus on renewal and innovation is also a product of the need to come up with alternative programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Programmes had to be assembled with the utmost flexibility, at very short notice ‘This has given us new insight. Normally, a complete season is planned three or four years in advance. This is necessary when you’re dealing with major international opera productions. Yet this can sometimes limit your scope for addressing current events and giving voice to artists in the Netherlands. That’s why we want to continue to create space for projects and experiments that can take place at much shorter notice. This way we can arrange our programming so as to be even more responsive to current events and social issues.’

 

Film

The focus on renewal and innovation is also a product of the need to come up with alternative programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Programmes had to be assembled with the utmost flexibility, at very short notice ‘This has given us new insight. Normally, a complete season is planned three or four years in advance. This is necessary when you’re dealing with major international opera productions. Yet this can sometimes limit your scope for addressing current events and giving voice to artists in the Netherlands. That’s why we want to continue to create space for projects and experiments that can take place at much shorter notice. This way we can arrange our programming so as to be even more responsive to current events and social issues.’

 

New voices and stories

The future of opera depends on being open to new and different stories. ‘The family opera Anansi, a co-production with Dutch National Ballet, is a good example of this. The stories of the wily spider Anansi found their way to the Netherlands through our colonial past. The music is by the South African composer Neo Muyanga, who is working with different artists from the Netherlands, including librettist Maarten van Hinte, director Kenza Koutchoukali and choreographer Shailesh Bahoran. This family opera, which will be presented on our main stage, is a co-production with Cape Town Opera. This project marks an important moment for our company in many ways.’

 

Orpheus

The myth of Orpheus, in which a singer experiences love and loss, has been part of the history of opera since its earliest days. ‘This story goes to the heart of what opera is all about and the unique emotional impact of this artform. The myth returns this season in three totally different projects.’ In January conductor Raphaël Pichon and director Romeo Castellucci will revisit opera’s origins. ‘Under the title of Le lacrime di Eros they’re developing a production set to Florentine music from around 1600, by Caccini, Peri, Monteverdi and others, in dialogue with contemporary electronic composer Scott Gibbon. It’s a special work that shows how love and death are intertwined.’

Orpheus will also have a strong presence in the Opera Forward Festival 2022. ‘The world premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s new opera Eurydice – Die Liebenden blind will open the festival, under direction of an artist who has tackled this myth more than once in our theatre: Pierre Audi. Parallel to that, we will present Orphee | L’Amour | Eurydice, an immersive opera which incorporates elements of virtual reality, directed by the young Dutch multidisciplinary artist Robin Coops. This project, which is the result of a close collaboration with the Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid, will also tour the country.

 

Talent and new forms of opera

The opera Denis & Katya by Philip Venables and Ted Huffman, with young singers from the National Opera Studio in the leading roles, and a new production by Lisenska Heijboer Castañón and Manoj Kamps are also in the programme as part of the Opera Forward Festival 2022. ‘In their successful production FAUST [working title], Lisenka and Manoj sought out new forms of collaboration and co-creation in opera, and this resulted in a remarkable piece of theatre. We want to continue down this path with them in the new season.’

 

The classic repertoire

Alongside these exciting, innovative projects, there’s still room for the classics, of course. ‘We’re trying to strike a good balance between the established repertoire and new discoveries. Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Richard Strauss – they’re all in this season, in productions by cutting-edge artistic teams. I’m particularly looking forward to La Traviata by Tatjana Gürbaca. She’s one of the most exciting directors of the moment, and her production will explore the human condition in a way that will surely move us.’

The season will also feature the start of a Donizetti cycle, with conductor Enrique Mazzola and director Jetske Mijnssen, along with a top-flight cast, including star soprano Marina Rebeka.

True to tradition, the season will close with a production that will be part of the Holland Festival: Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber. ‘It’s a work that rarely gets performed in the Netherlands. It will be directed by the celebrated Russian film, theatre and opera director Kirill Serebrennikov. He and conductor Riccardo Minasi, together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, will guarantee an unexpected and exciting interpretation.’

 

Campaign images

When it came time to design the poster art for the new season, Sophie de Lint chose to collaborate with young artists. ‘This is in keeping with our ambition to engage with other artforms and disciplines. I also think it’s important to give young, recent arts graduates in the Netherlands a platform for their talents, especially now. We’ve opted to use digital sculptures, because this is a form that opens up fascinating new worlds and possibilities. I’m very enthusiastic about the first creations by Caz Egelie, Paula Garcia Sans and Tobias Groot, and I’m looking forward to seeing their future work!’

Ted Brandsen

Interview Ted Brandsen

Dutch National Ballet was established exactly 60 years ago on August 31st this year. What began as a pioneering company with a unique, rebellious identity has evolved into one of the leading ballet companies in the world.

We just can’t wait

“It’s something we, as the Netherlands, can be incredibly proud of”, in the words of Artistic Director Ted Brandsen. He underlines how extensive and varied the artistic heritage of the company is in his programme choices for the forthcoming season, but finds it equally important, with new creations, to look forward. “After all the corona restrictions we are emerging from a period of ‘treading water’. We are all ready to step into the light. Towards new challenges.”

Sonia Gaskell

He never knew the first artistic director of Dutch National Ballet, Sonia Gaskell, but he still avidly agrees with the artistic lines that she established during the first years. “Our repertoire continues to concentrate on the same three questions: what must we definitely nurture from the classical dance heritage? What are the most relevant choreographies and creations right now? How and with whom do we allow space for risks and experiments?”

The answers to these questions however are constantly changing. “Many experimental productions from the past are now regarded as classics. This is why it’s of crucial importance that we constantly renew. With our repertoire but also in our relationship to our audience. We want to let even more people experience that Dutch National Ballet makes the Netherlands home to a world class company. We still feel the same drive that led Sonia Gaskell and others to lay down the foundations for Dutch National Ballet in the 1960’s. We just can’t wait to be able to perform for a live audience again.”

 

Raymonda

“The 60th anniversary,” says Brandsen, “is a moment to reflect on everything that has been established over the years, but is also a moment to consider the direction we want to follow in years to come.” Both of these aspects will therefore feature in the festive jubilee season. Taking this into account a significant and deliberate choice made by Brandsen is that all the productions will be from homeground, either already specially produced for the company, or in the making.
 

Toer van Schayk and Hans van Manen

The season opens and closes with a programme dedicated to two of the most prominent choreographers in the history of DutchNational Ballet: Toer van Schayk and Hans van Manen. Brandsen: “Both have made a huge contribution to the image of our company. Toer since the formation of the company in 1961 and Hans since the 1970’s, and his impact internationally has continued to increase in recent years. Apart from Toer’s masterpiece 7th Symphony, we will also present a world premiere by him, Lucifer Studies, inspired by Vondel’s Lucifer. We are presenting many pieces by Hans in a special Van Manen Festival, during which other Dutch and also international companies will perform.”

After the TOER-programme (see also elsewhere in this publication) two full-length success productions from past years will follow: Brandsen’s own Mata Hari, about one of the most iconic women in Dutch history, and the classic ‘December ballet’: Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Brandsen: Nutcracker is the most festive production from our repertoire and this jubilee season wouldn’t be complete without it.”

Brandsen himself is particularly looking forward to introducing a new classic to the Netherlands: Raymonda. Based on Marius Pepita’s well-known choreography from 1898, but in a totally new production by Rachel Beaujean. The beautiful ‘treasure chest of the classical ballet technique’ that is Raymonda is retained, with the omittance of elements which are no longer relevant today.”
 

 

Mythical Spider

Brandsen is also eagerly awaiting Anansi, a new, multi-disciplinary performance for all the family, in which Dutch National Ballet and Dutch National Opera work together. “The inspiration for this world premiere is based on the experiences of the mythical spider Anansi - known from folk stories from West Africa and Suriname - who is always one step ahead of his opponents.”

New names are introduced in Anansi, including the South African composer Neo Muyanga and choreographer Shailesh Bahoran, whose work is distinguished by his exceptional combination of hiphop and influences from his Hindu background.

Additionally, Dutch National Ballet will introduce a programme in Spring 2022 that includes a number of world premieres. “By David Dawson, who began his career with us as choreographer, and has since become a world star, and from three young creators, each with their own unique signature: Juanjo Arques and our new ‘Young Creative Associates’, Wubkje Kuindersma and Sedrig Verwoert.” The third ‘Young Creative Associate’ of the company, Milena Sidorova, will also create new work for the Junior Company during the jubilee season.
 

Hunger for art and culture

The fact that a country which before the war had hardly any tradition of dance, let alone ballet, now owns, according to The New York Times, one of the five most outstanding ballet companies in the world, is an achievement to be reflected on and celebrated.

“A number of pioneers, including Gaskell, put ballet on the map in our country after the Second World War. What helped was that - as now - there was a huge amount of hunger for art and culture, in a country where social-political and religious barriers were gradually being lifted. Without the right people however we would never have been what we are today. Gaskell may not have been the most pleasant of people in the eyes of many, but her determined willpower ensured she achieved a great deal. Just like her successor Rudi van Dantzig, who showed with his characteristic vision how ballet can relate to and give answer to developments in society.”

Brandsen is proud to be able to follow in their footsteps, something that 40 years ago, when van Dantzig took him on as a dancer, he could never have believed. “I was already amazed that he even considered giving me a chance, as a dancer and later as choreographer. Now I am - alongside Rachel Beaujean who outdoes me - the longest runner of Dutch National Ballet.” Laughing: “When I sometimes talk to the young dancers of today about my early career you can see them think: “Goodness, that really was ancient history.”

Text original Dutch interview: Astrid van Leeuwen

 

September productions

New
production

Der Zwerg
Opera
Der Zwerg
This show was to be seen in September 2021 | 4 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

The opening production of the new season is Lorenzo Viotti’s first as chief conductor. By...

info & tickets

NEW
PRODUCTION

Missa in tempore belli
Opera
Missa in tempore belli
6-21 sep 2021 | 4 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

This production of Missa in tempore belli is a dream come true for DNO’s brand-new chief...

info & tickets

WORLD
PREMIERE

Toer
Ballet
Toer
14-26 Sep 2021 | 8 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Dutch National Ballet opens the season in which it celebrates its 60th jubilee with a...

info & tickets
Opera productions Oct-Dec

DUTCH
PREMIERE

Upload
Opera
Upload
1-8 Oct 2021 | 5 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

To live forever: it’s possible as an upload, a digital version of yourself. It sounds like...

info & tickets

REVIVAL

Don Giovanni
Opera
Don Giovanni
4-28 Nov 2021 | 8 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

No one crosses his path unscathed. Don Giovanni, the most famous seducer in the history of...

info & tickets

2021-2022

La traviata
Opera
La traviata
This production was to be seen in Dec 2021 | 7 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

With his La Traviata , Giuseppe Verdi not only told the story of a terminally ill...

info & tickets
Ballet productions Oct-Dec

REVIVAL

Mata Hari
Ballet
Mata Hari
14 Oct - 7 Nov 2021 | 13 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

The impressive and compelling Mata Hari is one Dutch National Ballet’s recent hit...

info & tickets

FOR THE
WHOLE FAMILY

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning
Ballet
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
11 Dec 2021-2 Jan 2022 | 17 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

The Nutcracker & the Mouse King was on the programme in season 21/22. Would you like to...

info & tickets
Family productions Oct-Dec

2021-2022

Lied voor de maan
Opera
A song for the moon
This production was to be seen in Oct 2021 | 19 performances
Tournee, different locations

Lonesome mole decides to write a song to cheer up the moon. Grasshopper rehearses the song...

info & tickets

WORLD
PREMIERE

Anansi
Opera & Ballet
How ANANSI freed the stories of the world
13-21 Nov 2021 | 4 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Forget Spiderman. The mythical spider Anansi will be taking over in the coming season...

info & tickets

NEW
PRODUCTION

Goud!
Opera
Goud!
1 Apr-6 Jun 2022 | 12 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Boekmanzaal | Tour

A percussionist and a singer perform Grimm’s fairytale about the magical fish that makes...

info & tickets
December productions

2021-2022

La traviata
Opera
La traviata
This production was to be seen in Dec 2021 | 7 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

With his La Traviata , Giuseppe Verdi not only told the story of a terminally ill...

info & tickets

FOR THE
WHOLE FAMILY

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning
Ballet
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
11 Dec 2021-2 Jan 2022 | 17 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

The Nutcracker & the Mouse King was on the programme in season 21/22. Would you like to...

info & tickets

NEW
PRODUCTION

Goud!
Opera
Goud!
1 Apr-6 Jun 2022 | 12 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Boekmanzaal | Tour

A percussionist and a singer perform Grimm’s fairytale about the magical fish that makes...

info & tickets

Performances January to June


 

Opera productions Jan-Mar

NEW
PRODUCTION

Le lacrime di Eros
Opera
Le lacrime di Eros
20-30 Jan 2022 | 6 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Eros cries, and in the glistening of his tears, the dark sides of love appear. For their...

info & tickets

Concert

Salome
Opera
Salome
6, 12 and 14 Feb 2022 | 3 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

The staged production of Salome had to be cancelled, but we are pleased to announce that...

info & tickets

OFF

Eurydice
Opera
Eurydice - Die Liebenden, blind
5-17 Mar 2022 | 6 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Orpheus and Eurydice’s mythical love story reveals we often only value what we have once...

info & tickets
Opera productions March

OFF

O|A|E
Opera
Orphée | L'Amour | Eurydice
5-7 Mar 2022 | 12 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Boekmanzaal

What is the nature of love nowadays? Inspired by Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orphée...

info & tickets

OFF

Denis & Katya
Opera
Denis & Katya
11-18 Mar 2022 | 4 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Two teenage runaways livestream their final hours from a squat, leaving behind a trail of...

info & tickets

OFF

I have missed you forever
Opera
I have missed you forever
12-18 Mar 2022 | 5 performances
International Theatre Amsterdam, Main Stage, ITA

In a theatre, various people come together for a memorial service. As is in keeping with...

info & tickets
Opera productions Apr-June

NEW PRODUCTION

Tosca
Opera
Tosca
12 Apr - 8 May 2022 | 9 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

The life of temperamental singer Floria Tosca is one big jumble of love, lust and...

info & tickets

NEW PRODUCTION

Anna Bolena
Opera
Anna Bolena
10-29 May 2022 | 7 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

After Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda , the third and final part of the Tudor trilogy will...

info & tickets

NEW PRODUCTION

Scene from Der Freischütz
Opera
Der Freischütz
3-25 June 2022 | 8 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

In a rehearsal room, a group of singers is working on Carl Maria von Weber's Der...

info & tickets
Ballet productions Jan-May

2021-2022
DUTCH
PREMIERE

Raymonda
Ballet
Raymonda
This performance was to be seen in Apr 2022 | 11 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

In season 2023/2024, Dutch National Ballet will perform Raymonda again. More information...

info & tickets

TWO WORLD
PREMIERES

Made in Amsterdam
Ballet
Made in Amsterdam
20 Feb - 4 Mar 2022 | 6 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

The New York Times listed Dutch National Ballet as one of the five companies in the world...

info & tickets

Tour

Dancers: Catarina Pires, Isaac Mueller, Guillermo Torrijos and Kyoko Yamamoto
Ballet
Shooting Stars
5-25 May 2022 | 11 performances
Tour, Netherlands

Every year, the most talented of over 700 applications from young dancers all over the...

info & tickets
Ballet productions May

Tour

Hans van Manen 90
Ballet
Hans van Manen 90
7-22 May 2022 | 10 performances
Tournee, Netherlands

On 11 July 2022, the grand master of Dutch dance, Hans van Manen, will turn ninety. Dutch...

info & tickets
In the Future
Ballet
In the Future
14 May 2022 | 2 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

This season marks the 60th anniversary of Dutch National Ballet. We will be celebrating...

info & tickets

2021-2022

New moves
Ballet
New Moves (2021/2022)
26-27 May 2022 | 2 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Boekmanzaal

The next New Moves will take place at the beginning of season 2023/2024. There will be two...

info & tickets
Ballet productions June-July

2021-2022

Hans van Manen festival
Ballet
Hans van Manen Festival
8-29 Jun 2022 | 13 performances
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

In 2007, the Hans van Manen Festival, organised by Dutch National Ballet for the occasion...

info & tickets

2021-2022

Gala
Ballet
60th Anniversary Gala Dutch National Ballet
30 Jun 2022 | 1 performance
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Breaking with tradition, this year we are presenting our annual gala at the end of the...

info & tickets

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