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Guide to Dutch National Opera and Ballet

« The magic of this performance was that although it was a totally site-specific conception, it managed to achieve such universality, transcending even Monteverdi’s original visions of the piece in a cathedral. It was an immersive and spiritual experience, and some of its visual and sonic images will surely remain with me for a long time. »
Nahoko Gotoh, January 2017
Dutch National Opera
Dutch National Opera
May 2019
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
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AmsterdamSwan Lake

Maia Makhateli, Daniel Camargo and ensemble in Swan Lake © Marc Haegeman
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Marius Petipa; Lev Ivanov; Rudi van Dantzig; Toer van Schayk; Dutch National Ballet; Boris Gruzin; Andrew Mogrelia

Amsterdamaus Licht Part 1: Michael

aus Licht Part 1: Michael
Stockhausen: Donnerstag aus Licht
Kathinka Pasveer; Pierre Audi; Dutch National Opera; Urs Schönebaum; Wojciech Dziedzic

Amsterdamaus Licht Part 2: Lucifer and Eve

aus Licht Part 2: Lucifer and Eve
Stockhausen: Samstag aus Licht
Kathinka Pasveer; Pierre Audi; Dutch National Opera; Urs Schönebaum; Wojciech Dziedzic

Amsterdamaus Licht Part 3: Co-operation and the Opening up of Space

aus Licht Part 3: Co-operation and the Opening up of Space
Stockhausen: Freitag aus Licht
Kathinka Pasveer; Pierre Audi; Dutch National Opera; Urs Schönebaum; Wojciech Dziedzic

AmsterdamPelléas et MélisandeNew production

Pelléas et Mélisande
Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande
Stéphane Denève; Olivier Py; Dutch National Opera; Pierre-André Weitz; Paul Appleby; Elena Tsallagova
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Bob Wilson's cool minimalist Butterfly is back in Amsterdam

Elena Stikhina and Sergio Escobar © BAUS
Robert Wilson's Madama Butterfly is back in Amsterdam starring rising star Elena Stikhina as the doomed Cio-Cio-San.
***11
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Glorious ensembles in Dutch National Opera’s new Tannhäuser

Daniel Kirch (Tannhäuser) and Ekaterina Gubanova (Venus) © Monika Rittershaus
Orchestra and chorus reach great Wagnerian heights in this new production by Christof Loy, a study of an artist in revolt against hypocritical sexual mores.
***11
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Perfect symbiosis of words and music in Fin de partie

Leonardo Cortellazzi (Nagg) © Ruth Walz

György Kurtág’s long awaited opera Fin de partie gets a second run in Amsterdam after its La Scala premiere, with the same excellent cast, conductor and production team.

*****
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Adams’ dark Gold Rush opera arrives in Amsterdam

Girls of the Golden West © Ruth Walz
Dame Shirley’s texts are here sung by the young American soprano Julia Bullock whose pliable instrument and stylish way with words reveal an ideal storyteller.
***11
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La Cetra dazzles in Juditha triumphans at Dutch National Opera

Gaëlle Arquez (Juditha) © Marco Borggreve

Floris Visser’s staging transforms Vivaldi’s biblical oratorio into a credible wartime drama. The young cast is proficient, and La Cetra Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Andrea Marcon, nothing short of miraculous.

****1
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Biography

Dutch National Opera is known for its diverse programming, from classic to contemporary operas, and for the reliably outstanding quality of its performances. With innovative productions, specially-composed works and a fresh approach to the standard repertoire, Dutch National Opera ensures the longevity of this splendid art form. With Pierre Audi as its artistic director and now, following the merger, as director of Dutch National Opera, the company has garnered worldwide recognition and its new productions invariably attract widespread attention. In 2013 DNO won the international Opera Award for the best production of the year.

The company was founded shortly after the Second World War and developed from a repertory company to a ‘stagione’ company. This means that Dutch National Opera does not have a full-time ensemble and that it stages an average of one opera per month, for which guest soloists and separate artistic teams are brought in.

Dutch National Opera does have its own full-time chorus, made up of fifty-six professional singers. The Chorus is considered one of the finest in Europe and was nominated for the best choral performance of the year in 2013. For most of its productions, DNO works with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The chief conductor is Marc Albrecht.

Most of DNO’s productions can be seen in National Opera & Ballet, but performances are also held in other venues, among them the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg, Royal Theatre Carré, the Westergasfabriek or the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Many of DNO’s operas continue to attract the attention of, and invitations from, international opera houses and festivals. Co-productions with renowned companies such as the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Opéra de Paris or the Teatro alla Scala in Milan are now regular partnerships.