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National Opera and Ballet 2016-17: Back to normal

'In the new season, we will go back back to normal', Pierre Audi said on Monday 15 February during the presentation of De Nationale Opera's new season. He does, however, continue the forward-looking Opera Forward Festival, which was set up to mark its 50th anniversary. There are also quite a few new in-house productions on the cards, including the world premiere of the Machiavelli-inspired The New Prince by the young, as yet unknown American composer Mohammed Farouz, directed by Lotte de Beer.

That National Opera and Ballet Being serious about tapping into young and new audiences was also evident in the words of general director Els van der Plas. She managed to report that the ballet managed to reach 45% new audiences last season, while the opera boasts a slightly more modest gain of 16%. Now auditorium attendance is already quite high with an average of 93%, but it still goes up a notch, including virtually.

Virtual walking through Music Theatre

For instance, thanks to a collaboration with Google Institute, audiences from all over the world can 'walk' through studios, rehearsal rooms and other places to strengthen their connection with the house. The former 'cloth room' below ground will also be made suitable for introductions, small-scale concerts and education projects - the house already receives 16,000 schoolchildren a year.

At the Dutch National Ballet, the Junior Company brings in young talent, with choreographies by Hans van Manen, Toer van Schayk and Rudi van Dantzig alongside new ballets by youngsters such as Peter Leung and Wubkje Kuindersma. The troupe will tour our country under the title 'Juniors go Dutch'. Toer Van Schayk's eightieth birthday will be celebrated by the main company with a reprise of the Requiem of Mozart, in the words of director Ted Brandsen "a large-scale and demanding ballet not seen for twenty-five years".

Opera Forward Festival

Opera focuses on the future with the aforementioned Opera Forward Festival, which will feature new insights, voices and visions in seminars, public discussions and operas composed especially for the occasion. The first edition (15 to 25 March 2016) will include new works by Kaija Saariaho and Michel van der Aa. Next season's theme is 'Power/Powerlessness', with world premieres by The New Prince, and a chamber opera by Calliope Tsoupaki on the theme 'Sign of the Times'.

While a separate booklet was produced for the upcoming edition of the Opera Forward Festival, the new season's programming is included in full in the brochure. The festival is intended to become an annual tradition, just like the grand Gala at the beginning of the new ballet season.

An overview of season 2016-17 can be found here.

Thea Derks

Thea Derks studied English and Musicology. In 1996, she completed her studies in musicology cum laude at the University of Amsterdam. She specialises in contemporary music and in 2014 published the critically acclaimed biography 'Reinbert de Leeuw: man or melody'. Four years on, she completed 'An ox on the roof: modern music in vogevlucht', aimed especially at the interested layperson. You buy it here: In 2020, the 3rd edition of the Reinbertbio appeared,with 2 additional chapters describing the period 2014-2020. These also appeared separately as Final Chord.View Author posts

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