Fortress Europe

Fortress Europe is a new opera about one of the most important issues of our time: the refugee crisis. It is the first edition of Sign of the Times, a series of newly composed operas that relate to current affairs, by our partners Opera Trionfo and Asko|Schönberg.

The story

The opera tells the story of Lady Europe and her son, the politician. Born in North Africa, the young woman Europe faced the world filled with courage and ideals. Now she lives in isolation in her apartment in Brussels. Meanwhile, her son fulfils the task of guarding the gate to Europe. A drama unfolds that is filled with political interests, personal desires and the fear and hate of populists.


In her compositions, Calliope Tsoupaki uses elements from old and contemporary music, and music from Greece and the Middle East, combining them into her own unique musical idiom. Following her training at the Hellinicon Conservatory, in Athens, she continued her studies in the Netherlands with Louis Andriessen. She stayed in the Netherlands and has developed into one of the country’s leading composers.

In recent years, Floris Visser has had great success as a director in the Netherlands and abroad. In 2012, he was appointed Cultural Professor at TU Delft. He was the first ever Dutch director to work with the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, where he staged Mozart’s Così fan tutte. The production received five nominations for the Golden Mask, Russia’s most prestigious theatre award.

Team, cast and choir