Opera Month - Dutch Week

June 12 to 18


Discover the very best Dutch opera has to offer! From June 12 to 18, Stingray Brava presents seven productions by seven opera houses. Enjoy Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas performed at Holland Opera (June 14) and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at Opera Zuid (June 15). The staging of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic at De Nederlandse Opera (June 18) concludes this week of Dutch opera with a performance worthy of the world's most legendary opera venues

Monday, June 12 at 14:00 CEST | Telemann - Pimpinone

The battle of the sexes, it’s a story as old as time. Today it is often a subject of disagreement and serious discussions but in Georg Philipp Telemann’s days it was the reason for a good laugh and therefore the perfect subject for an intermezzo. The genre intermezzo originated from the 16th century intermedio, musical scenes performed between two acts of a play. The audience loved this often saga-based and spectacular form of amusement and although many of them got lost, they are the base for the operas we know today. In the 18th century they were still performed, only now used as a comical side story and performed between the acts of an opera seria. The intermezzo usually presents two or three people in comic situations, a sharp contradiction with the heroic tale of the opera seria. The first complete intermezzo that we know of today is Tomaso Albinoni’s Pimpinone. The story of the clever maid who tricked the dumb but rich landlord into marriage was immensely popular when Telemann, working for the Hamburg opera, decided to use the plot for one of his own compositions. He used the same libretto by Pietro Pariati and reshaped it into his own German/Italian version, with newly composed music. The result was one of his greatest successes in theatre. Pimpinone’s story was something Telemann could relate to. Like Pimpinone, Telemann wasn’t very lucky in love: his first wife Amalie Eberlin died in childbirth during their first year of marriage. His second spouse, Maria Katharina Textor, had a serious gambling problem. Her addiction was so severe that it almost drove the composer to bankruptcy. The citizens of Hamburg had to organize a collection to save the composer. This marriage ended after the birth of his ninth child when Maria Katherina left Telemann for a Swedish military officer.

Conductor: Jan Willem de Vriend
Soloists: Julia Neumann, Claudioa Patacca, Marcel Boone
Performers: Combattimento Consort
Composer: Georg Philip Telemann
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Year: 2009

Tuesday, June 13 at 21:00 CEST | Charpentier - La troupe d’Orphée

OPERA2DAY introduces you to ‘La troupe d’Orphée’, the travelling music ensemble assembled around the greatest and most divine vocalist of all time: Orphée. Witness how his beautiful voice commands wild animals and enchants the gods of the underworld. Meet the beautiful Euridice, the apple of his eye. Let yourself be moved by the story of their ill-fated love and marvel at the magical choreography and masterful music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier. OPERA2DAY’s production ‘La troupe d’Orphée’ is inspired by The Hague’s remarkable and dynamic opera history. From the mid-17th century, the city was often visited by travelling ‘troupes’, usually from France. The Hague’s riding schools and public open spaces formed the backdrop for their bubbling theatre and opera performances. As by magic, singing, dance, music, and theatre merged in these performances. OPERA2DAY’s production is an ode to that dynamic era. In ‘La troupe d’Orphée’, the fictitious music theatre ‘troupe’ is made up of dancers (the ‘Dutch Don’t Dance Division’), vocalists (Vox Luminis, and musicians (baroque ensemble OPERA2DAY). The unmatched star of our ‘troupe’ is history’s most famous singer: Orphée. We follow him and his ‘troupe’ in performance, while telling the timeless, tragic tale of his love for Euridice.

Conductor: Hernán Schvartzman
Performers: Vox Luminis
Soloists: Reinoud van Mechelen, Sophie Junker, Lionel Meunier, Geoffroy Buffier, Stephanie True, Zsuzsi Tóth, Amélie Renglet, Victoria Cassano, Marine Fribourg, Raphael Höhn, Robert Buckland, Dutch Junior Division, OPERA2DAY
Producer: Castus
Location: Grote Kerk, The Hague
Year: 2014

Wednesday, June 14 at 14:00 CEST | Purcell - Dido and Aeneas

In Purcell’s masterpiece ‘Dido and Aeneas’ the story is told of two exiles: Dido, banished from her own country, and Aeneas, a fugitive from the conquered Troy, looking for a new home. Dido applies for asylum and awaits the verdict in prison. There she meets Aeneas, an ambitious politician. Dido and Aeneas fall desperately in love. Will she be allowed to stay, and will he chose her? Or will she be sent home, and will he travel onwards to a country where he can fulfil his ambitions?

Conductor: Niek Idelenburg
Performers: Holland Opera, Cartago Consort
Soloists: Aylin Sezer, Sinan Vural, Leonie van Veen, Arnout Lems
Location: Veerensmederij, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Year: 2012

Thursday, June 15 at 14:00 CEST | Leoncavallo – Pagliacci

The life of a clown is not just entertainment, as Ruggero Leoncavallo’s two-act opera ‘Pagliacci’ convincingly illustrates. ‘Pagliacci’ is a play in a play. During the prologue, one of the actors addresses the audience, telling the plot of the play, which turns out to have many similarities to reality: the atmosphere among the performing circus performers is stifling. Nedda, wed to clown Canio, is in love with Silvio. Yet Tonio is also in love with Nedda, and cannot bear that his affection for Nedda remains unrequited. He informs Canio about Nedda’s secret love, and when something snaps in Canio, the performance that night turns into a mixture of play and reality…

Conductor: Per-Otto Johansson
Soloists: Fenna Ograjensek, Martijn Sanders, Elmar Gilbertsson, Willem de Vries
Performers: Opera Zuid, Limburg Symphony Orchestra
Year: 2012

Friday, June 16 at 21:00 CEST | The Electric Flute

Over two centuries ago, W.A. Mozart rocked Vienna to its foundations with his opera ‘The Magic Flute’. In May 2015, Opera Spanga duplicated that mean feat, performing ‘The Electric Flute’ in Friesland’s picturesque Oranjewoud! ‘The Electric Flute’ has a Rock ’n Roll body, Pulp Fiction brains, and a heart of 24 carat Mozart gold. The opera’s brand new score was composed by Floris van Bergeijk to an English libretto by the American author Jonathan Levi. Corina van Eijk shares her feverish fantasies with us, and the mixed cast of both opera and pop vocalists completes the picture. The result us a contemporary fairytale, situated in the hell of Washington DC, where unchecked lust and merciless politics paint the White House red.

Performers: Opera Spanga
Composer: Corina van Eijk
Location: Oranjewoud, The Netherlands
Year: 2015

Saturday, June 17 at 14:00 CEST | JacobTV - The News

Jacob ter Veldhuis, better known as JacobTV, is one of the Netherlands’ most successful composers. Our television channel considers it a great honour to have held the television premiere of his latest work, the ‘reality opera’ ‘The News - The Peace Edition’. In ‘The News’, Ter Veldhuis critically explores the way in which the news enters our living rooms. Journalistic objectivity and entertainment, truth and untruth: they seem more closely intertwined than we would think or wish for. The Nederlands Blazers Ensemble brings the piece, which is characterized by Ter Veldhuis’ contemporary yet accessible style, to life in a spectacular manner.

Soloist: Nora Fischer
Performers: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble
Composer: Jacob ter Veldhuis
Location: Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam
Year: 2013

Sunday, June 18 at 21:00 CEST | Adams - Doctor Atomic

The longing to overcome human boundaries lead the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to begin an experiment that formed a threat to the whole of humanity, and whose scientific results still do today. The question of the moral implications of the atomic bomb is raised in John Adams’ opera, just as much as that of the influence on the private lives of the main characters. Doctor Atomic is the fifth work to result from almost twenty years of collaboration between the American composer and his fellow American director and Erasmus Prize-winner Peter Sellars.

Performers: Dutch Opera
Location: Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam
Year: 2007