Charlotte Smits
Photo: Jan Willem Kaldenbach

Charlotte Smits

Secretary My Muse & Me

When was your first visit to Dutch National Opera & Ballet?
“I first went to Dutch National Opera & Ballet when I was 15 years old, with CKV (Education in Arts and Culture), to see the opera Die Soldaten. That was not an easy starter, especially for 15-year-old kids, haha! We were sitting right in the middle, in the front row, behind the conductor. That made a great impression on me. The conductor couldn’t reach his spot from the orchestra pit, so he had to go through the front row.  It felt incredibly special. We also had a ballet workshop that day. I had bought a lovely dress in town specifically for the performance. That made it feel like a truly unique evening.”

What is your favourite performance at Dutch National Opera & Ballet, and why?
“I secretly loved Operetta Land. For the first time, I burst out laughing during the performance. I also enjoyed that the opera was sung in Dutch, which is a lovely language. I enjoyed watching and listening to Il barbiere di Siviglia as well. The set and music were just stunning!”

What makes Dutch National Opera & Ballet special, in your opinion?
“It’s just a very special institution. One of a kind. Nothing is comparable in the Netherlands. It’s quite remarkable that we can create such magnificent productions in such a small country. We won the Oper! Award for the ‘Best Opera Company 2023’ for a reason.”

Classic opera reimagined, or an innovative, new production?
“In fact, I would opt for a classical opera with a classic feel. The productions are so modern these days that I'm curious to witness a traditional opera and how the crowd will react.”

If you could have one costume from a Dutch National Opera & Ballet production that was exactly your size, which would you choose?
“Then I’d go for the cupcakes from Il barbiere di Siviglia. Or the riding wedding gown from Il barbiere di Siviglia. That one was equally stunning.”