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'It was as if I had ended up in my book.' How Tatiana de Rosnay's dystopian new novel suddenly became suspiciously similar to reality

It is scorching hot in Paris on the day of the interview with Tatiana de Rosnay (58). In her new novel Flowers of Darkness, Paris suffers yet another heatwave, with the thermometer touching 48 degrees. 'The past few days have been almost as bad as in my book,' De Rosnay tells via Zoom from her Parisian study.... 

Conductor Elim Chan: 'I can't walk away from the music.'

'When I unexpectedly had to conduct the "Dies Irae" from Verdi's Requiem Verdi, I felt how raw and impactful music could be. I knew immediately: I can no longer run away from music.' Elim Chan is moving like a rocket and will make her debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra on 17 January. In 2014, Elim Chan (Hong Kong, 1986) was the first female... 

Composer Marijn Simons: 'Everything is about timing'

Although the press picks it up only sparsely, not only the NTRZaterdagMatinee pays much attention to Dutch composers. Indeed, they are also well represented in the AVROTROS Vrijdagconcert (formerly De Vrijdag van Vredenburg). In 2014, for instance, Joey Roukens wrote The building of the temple to mark the reopening of TivoliVredenburg. Two years later, the season opened with Atlantis by Robin... 

Annelies van Parys: 'No more beautiful symbol of love than a flower'

In 2014, Annelies van Parys (1975) composed her first opera, Private View, for Asko|Schönberg and Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart. It was awarded the FEDORA - Rolf Liebermann Prize for Opera shortly afterwards. The Stuttgart singers submissively asked her to compose a new piece for them. Songs of Love and War/An Archive of Love will premiere 20 May at Operadagen... 

Choir and orchestra shine in La forza del destino #DNO

From the ominous clarion notes at the beginning to the whisper strings dying into nothingness at the end, everything sounds like clockwork. Yet Michele Mariotti is conducting Giuseppe Verdi's La forza del destino for the first time. He makes his debut at De Nationale Opera with this rarely performed opera. Mariotti came, saw and conquered. He seems to be a born Verdi interpreter, from... 

Culture outside the Randstad: Amersfoort's struggle

Displaced paintings by Armando. Artists fleeing the city. A tinpot that brought financial disaster and summer festivals that attract tens of thousands of visitors every year. And you thought Amersfoort was boring? A footnote along the A1 motorway? Forget it. Let me tell you about this city struggling with its cultural identity. A story in eighteen impressions. Guilty landscape In his youth... 

Programmer to talk: Astrid in 't Veld's dream season

When you go to a concert, you think about the music, the ensemble, the soloist and/or the conductor. Maybe you look up something about the composer but you never think about the programmer who made the concert possible. Astrid in 't Veld is someone who thinks about the range of concerts on offer years in advance in order to help you with... 

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... 

Nicolas Mansfield 'Dutch Travel Opera still needs €500,000'

The past and future of the Netherlands Reisopera are dominated by money worries. Nicolas Mansfield, director, during the season presentation on 20 April last in the foyer of Theatre Carré, stressed not only the necessity of a national opera company's existence but, above all, the necessary quality requirements to keep attracting audiences. And quality cannot exist without decent... 

Peter Sellars: 'This opera is a paradise on earth.'

What does the future of opera look like? The National Opera tries to answer this in the Opera Forward Festival: new visions new voices, organised for the first time this year to mark its 50th anniversary. The ten-day festival kicks off 15 March with the world premiere of Only the Sound Remains by Kaija Saariaho. About... 

Gray Trovatore does not strike to the heart

On Thursday 8 October, I saw a live performance of Verdi's opera Il trovatore at Amsterdam's Muziektheater for the first time. It was not an unmixed pleasure. During the first two acts, The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Opera Chorus and the soloists were so out of sync that I considered leaving at the interval. A good friend... 

Photo: Viktor Vassiliev

Russian Cherry Garden in Amsterdam: 5 important things learned #HF15

There was an air of more expensive perfume in the foyers than at a Dutch gala premiere. The women were younger and smoother, or had a better botox doctor than usual. The jewellery looked very expensive, as did the dresses. Russian sounded everywhere. It seemed as if Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg had been moved for a while to PC Hooftstraat, a few hundred metres away.... 

The Great War Machine and Swamp Club: contemporary activist theatre

In early March, The Great War Machine, the new play by director Joachim Robbrecht, premiered at Theater Frascati. A week earlier, at the Rotterdam Schouwburg Swamp Club to be seen, by French director Philippe Quesne. Both performances address the current political climate. Whereas Swamp Club is explicitly silent about the world it calls into question, The Great War Machine is instead a rhetorical spectacle, constructed from quotes from TEDtalks. Both performances make mechanisms felt, rather than pointing out culprits. Voluntarily withdrawing or being shut out, the neoliberal order does not seem to allow much more choice. There is no question of resistance.

Requiem for the Red Box

After seven concert seasons, the broadcasting series takes 'The Friday of Vredenburg' farewell to emergency venue Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn, better known as 'The Red Box'. From September, the concerts will again take place in the restored Great Hall of the otherwise brand-new TivoliVredenburg. The concert on 6 June will feature the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Groot Omroepkoor, conducted by Antony Hermus. They will play music by Beethoven, Richard Strauss and a brand new piece by Wim Laman, Requiem Songs.

Volksopera is a celebration of Ondiep, but what will be left when the cameras are gone?

Barely five months between first audition and first performance. That was all the time the makers and local residents had for the Volksopera Ondiep, which experienced the first of two performances on Friday 23 May. It was a warm May evening, touching at times, sometimes dreadful, but fun anyway: classics by Verdi (most of them), Bizet, Puccini and Offenbach, set to Dutch text and sung by complete amateurs. Accompanied, for once, by the Groot Omroepkoor.

Gergiev Festival full of Sunday afternoon music

What could be the matter with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival - the official name to emphasise its international appeal anyway? As soon as you enter concert hall de Doelen, you immediately get the feeling that you have arrived at an ordinary, weekday concert, even though Valeri Gergiev is on the posters. No decoration of the large rooms... 

Hit in the heart by opening performance by Alain Platel, and then find solace. #hf12

At two-thirds, the lump shoots in to not go out until the end. It happens at every Alain Platèl performance. Heartfelt sobs from the audience, lots of swallowing around you and the inevitable tears welling up like a natural disaster. To call the Flemish choreographer's work predictable because of this is going too far. What he and his company Les... 

Opening Holland Festival on twitter and facebook: tenue de wtf, ns-#fail, sublime dance theatre and mozzarella sticks #hf12

[View the story "Opening Holland Festival 2012" on Storify] Opening Holland Festival 2012 On 1 June, the Holland Festival opened at Theater Carré. We were there, saw Platel's C(h)oeurs and tasted the atmosphere. Although it almost went wrong. This is what of it was witnessed on social media Storified by Cultureel Persbureau - Sat, Jun 02 2012 08:37:18... 

Anne Sofie von Otter in De Doelen: 'classical' Bach comes off worst, triumph for 'populist' Handel

Among lovers of the music of contemporaries Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and George Frederic Handel (1685-1759), the bickering is well comparable to that between supporters of Beatles and Rolling Stones. Bach is classical, Handel populist, Bach wrote lofty music, Handel flat-out , Bach was (barring his St Matthew Passion) succinct in his musical statements, Handel rambled on endlessly. And so... 

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