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gesualdo

Tryptich by Bryce Dessner is just a little too perfect to really hit home

The Americans have a word for it: production value. By this you can indicate that a performance is technically perfect. The sound is right, the stage setting is excellent, the costumes are all right, the lighting brilliant and the actors, singers and musicians: top notch. Even the extras are at their best. So a show with high production value can rely on little... 

Just a few reasons to come to @tfboulevard in Den Bosch in early August.

If the weather holds up a bit, the upcoming edition of Theatre Festival Boulevard will be the most tropical in history. The smart ones among us, who opted for a staycation in West Balkonia this year, can indulge their cultural heart in Den Bosch. Not for nothing regularly called 'The Avignon of the Netherlands'. Theatre festival Boulevard is unpacking 2018 with a truly overwhelming... 

Amsterdam has the @HollandFestival. Ask yourself why that is. And whether that's ok.

Last week, while walking the dog, my neighbour Stefanie asked, "What is that anyway, this Holland Festival?", and I almost caught myself wearily going to explain that it was the most important performing arts festival the Netherlands and its environs and that everyone with a bit of education should know it. But I held back. And wondered: how... 

Gesualdo at the @hollandfestival: a hell of a match made in heaven.

Pizza Napolitana is not going to taste the same again. After all, mozzarella can be anything. We owe this enrichment of our lives to De Warme Winkel, the anarchic theatre company hired by the Nederlands Kamerkoor to enhance their Holland Festival programme. We knew it. And you can go and check that out for yourself, because after that... 

Ruth Mackenzie's latest Holland Festival promises to be just one of the most exciting

Here it is. The one and only interactive Culture Press Holland Festival Special. A special that has already been deployed over the past few months, and will be added to in the coming month. During the festival, we have regular reviews and reports, and podcasts. A new edition of this Special will appear every week. On Mondays. And then you can also subscribe via... 

Gesualdo project at @hollandfestival by De Warme Winkel: 'We want to anoint and flog the ears' #HF18

Say 'Carlo Gesualdo' and you say 'heavenly music', and 'cruel disposition'. This Renaissance composer's name is inextricably linked to the gruesome double murder he committed on his wife and lover when he found them in flagrante delicto. Who else but The Warm Shop could make an appealing performance of this thought Tido Visser, artistic director of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. So. 

Publicity image Gesualdo. Photo: Sofie Knijff

At the Holland Festival, Mackenzie is opening the doors to a new avant-garde among the audience.

The neat couple next to me, in the front row at the Holland Festival press conference, hadn't counted on it for a moment. Four members of the Nederlands Kamerkoor starting to undress one by one down to their pecker-sized nakie. A giggle, a small cough, but hey, this is the Holland Festival, they said to each other. So too... 

Louis Andriessen: 'I've never found a new sound'

For Theatre of the World, his fifth full-length opera, Louis Andriessen (1939) drew inspiration from the Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680). He was the last Renaissance man, someone who could do everything and knew everything. Kircher wrote books full of the most diverse subjects, from the meaning of hieroglyphics to vulcanology and musical instruments. He even designed a cat piano, based on the idea that each cat screams at a different pitch when you tap its tail. After his death, Kircher fell into disrepute as a charlatan.

However, unusable for science, he forms gefundenes Fressen for a composer like Andriessen, who likes to explore the boundaries between reality and fiction. His opera Writing to Vermeer (1999) is based on fictional letters to the Delft painter; Rosa, a Horse Drama (1994) is about the murder of a composer, allegedly part of a conspiracy against music.

Podium Witteman has lost the stage, er, way

Throughout the year, the public broadcaster spends a lot of time on sports. For World Cup, Tour or Games, cultural broadcasts are cancelled for weeks without pardon. If you can't beat them, join them, Paul Witteman must have thought, or perhaps the viewing figures were disappointing, because on 1 May he devoted an entire Podium Witteman broadcast to cycling. Don't. The reason for the cycling special is... 

The Muse of South - What does a street name sound like?

Some time ago, I discussed with broadcaster MAX the idea of phoning random residents in music districts to ask what they thought of 'their' composer. Would they spontaneously burst into an ode to, say, Carolus Hacquart, Cornelis Schuyt or Henriëtte Bosmans? Unfortunately, this playful plan never materialised, but lo and behold: a number of musicians joined hands.... 

Reinbert de Leeuw defies limits of orchestra in Saturday Matinee

Reinbert de Leeuw turned seventy-five last September, but already in May the VPRO honoured him with three full-length broadcasts on Radio 4. Together with Aad van Nieuwkerk, I made a selection from his best recordings of Kagel, Ustvolskaya and Louis Andriessen, among others, about which I also let him speak. This was followed in September by a real Reinbert festival and his own magazine. The magazine not only highlighted him... 

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