Dutch National Opera & Ballet announce 2020-21 season      

Sophie de Lint has announced that the 2020-21 Dutch National Opera (DNO) will have the theme of ‘Faust’ running throughout.

Although de Lint joined in 2018, from Zurich Opera where she had been artistic director under the general management of Andreas Homoki, this is her first full season programme at DNO. During her tenure in Zurich, the Swiss house was awarded the prize for ‘Opera Company of the Year’ at the 2014 International Opera Awards.

Her unique stamp is evident in the 2020-21 programme which bridges the 18th and 21st century and everything in between. The DNO season features three world premieres, 13 new productions and three contemporary productions for children, as well as vibrant and modern opera festival in 2021.

Said de Lint: “I would like to be an advocate for music theatre that is connected with the present day and our society. For opera that transports you and changes how you see yourself, others and the world. That is why we present opera in the full width of the genre, for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”

One such highlight is the Dutch premiere on 7 October of Innocence. For this, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho provides the score to the adaptation of the Finnish bestseller by author Sofi Oksanen.

A tale of guilt and forgiveness, Innocence will be conducted by Susanna Mälkki, leading the Residentie Orkest The Hague. Paula Murrihy, Sandrine Piau and Dutch Iranian soprano Lilian Farahani are just some of the 13 soloists, backed by 80 musicians.

Innocence is the third work by Saariaho to be presented at DNO, and follows on from the success of Émilie (2010) and Only the Sound Remains (2016). Director Simon Stone, who works in theatre, film and opera, makes his DNO debut.

Productions for children are a revival of Kriebel [Tickle] (2019) in October, for children aged two-plus, with jazz, world music and contemporary music, song, marimba and violin. The Dutch premiere of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (2016) by Gerald Barry for children aged seven-plus will be presented in January, with American conductor Karen Kamensek  leading musicians of National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands.

GOUD! [Gold] for children aged four and above will make its Dutch premiere in February. Directed by Waut Koeken, the hit show replays a Grimm fairy tale about a magic fish that fulfils all your wishes, via a drummer and a female singer who play and sing along.

The Opera Forward Festival 2021 (10-27 March 2021) is definitely one to watch. The vibrant programme includes Oedipus Rex / From ‘Antigone’ (1927 / 2021), a world premiere of young composer Samy Moussa’s response to Stravinsky’s score. The opera is directed and choreographed by Wayne McGregor and conducted by Erik Nielsen, who leads the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Meanwhile the very modern new opera Upload, is set in the digital world.

Other works on the programme are a revival of Le Nozze Di Figaro (1786); a new production of Aida (1871) directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov; a new production of Agrippina (1709); a new production of Der Fliegende Holländer (1843); and modern versions of Anna Bolena (1830) and La Damnation De Faust (1846), the latter will be given a radical twist by Spanish director Calixto Bieito. The full DNO programme can be viewed online.