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Juditha triumphansNew production

This listing is in the past
Dutch National Opera and BalletWaterlooplein 22, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
January 26, 28, 30, February 01, 03 14:00, 05, 07 (at 20:00 unless shown)
Dutch National Opera
Andrea MarconConductor
Floris VisserDirector
Dieuweke van ReijSet Designer, Costume Designer
Gaëlle ArquezMezzo-sopranoJuditha
Teresa IervolinoMezzo-sopranoHolofernes
Vasilisa BerzhanskayaMezzo-sopranoVagaus
Francesca AsciotiContraltoOzias
Polly LeechMezzo-sopranoAbra
Gloria GiurgolaSopranoPuella Judaica
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
La Cetra Baroque Orchestra

Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans is an allegorical oratorio with a plot full of twists and turns. Though not intended for the theatre, it lends itself perfectly for staged production.


The story of Juditha Triumphans comes from the apocryphal Book of Judith, chronicling the Assyrian siege of the Jewish city of Bethulia. The beautiful young widow Judith goes to the Assyrian army commander Holofernes to beg for mercy and sways him with her charms. But while he lies asleep after too much food and wine, Judith cuts off his head and returns to Bethulia triumphant. The story of her bravery inspired dramatic paintings by the likes of Giorgione, Caravaggio, Gentileschi and Allori.


Vivaldi originally composed Juditha Triumphans for the girls of the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage in Venice internationally renowned for its outstanding music school. All of the roles can therefore be sung by women. It also features large choral passages and a richly instrumented orchestra, as befitting the occasion of its composition – to celebrate the Venetian victory over the Turks in 1716. The libretto is in Latin.

Juditha Triumphans is a new production directed by Floris Visser (Fortress Europe at OFF 2017), his first at Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Conductor Andrea Marcon is a distinguished Baroque and Vivaldi specialist who previously led Handel’s Ariodante at DNO. This time he is accompanied by his own ensemble, La Cetra Barockorchester Basel.


French mezzo-soprano Gaëlle Arquez debuts at DNO in the role of Juditha. A ‘rising star’ of opera, she has appeared at leading houses worldwide, singing a varied repertoire of titles including FalstaffL’incoronazione di PoppeaTeseoCosì fan tutteIdomeneoArmide (Gluck), CarmenPelléas et MélisandeLe Comte Ory and Norma. At the Victoires de la Musique 2011 she was extolled as a ‘Révélation Lyrique’.

Gaëlle Arquez (Juditha) © Marco Borggreve
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