The New Prince
Although the title might suggest otherwise, The New Prince is certainly not about a fairytale prince. The ‘prince’ in question refers to the famous book The Prince (1513-1515) by Niccolò Machiavelli, and should rather be interpreted as a ‘ruler’.
The New Prince is a colourful revue about power, involving world leaders, Lady Fortuna, a chorus of oppressors and the oppressed, President Wu Virtu from the year 2032, and many others.
Machiavelli wakes up in the year 2032. He is in a New York publishing house and is commissioned to create a new version of his book The Prince, on the occasion of its 500th anniversary, but then using bankable names in order to sell his old theories to the public of the future. Machiavelli goes in search of ‘The New Prince’, through examples from our distant and more recent past – Hitler, Bin Laden and the Clintons.
Machiavelli’s The Prince describes the means that can be used by a dictator in strengthening his position. In fact, he can permit himself any means at all, even lies and deceit, providing he ensures that they do not come to light. The politician/schemer/diplomat/writer Machiavelli was way ahead of his time and is regarded as the inventor of ‘Realpolitik’.
Dutch National Opera is giving the world premiere of The New Prince, which is the second opera by the young American-Arab composer Mohammed Fairouz. Fairouz is strongly engaged with social and political issues, and has a deep respect for the power of the human voice. He works with librettist David Ignatius, a well-known American foreign expert, journalist with The Washington Post and author of novels. The opera is directed by Lotte de Beer, assisted by the designers’ duo Clement & Sanôu.