A song for the moon (6+)

The wondrous world of Toon Tellegen

Feeling lonely, Mole decides to write a song that will cheer up the moon. Grasshopper rehearses his orchestra until they know the song by heart. Then, one night, they put on a beautiful concert. So why does the moon look so sad afterwards…?

A Song for the Moon [Een lied voor de maan] is based on the eponymous children’s book by Toon Tellegen, who has won worldwide acclaim for his short stories featuring animals. Beloved by all ages, his work gives a philosophical spin to amusing and bizarre situations. The narrative of A Song for the Moon instantly struck a chord with composer Mathilde Wantenaar: “The story appealed to my musical imagination. It tackles important themes such as loneliness, identity, disappointment and friendship, but it is also a story about the power of music and its ability to bring people together.”

Mathilde Wantenaar
Mathilde Wantenaar (b. 1993) is a young composer who has already earned her spurs in the Dutch musical arena as well as at Dutch National Opera. She contributed her composing talents to the community project BOOM! | Amsterdam is an opera and wrote the short chamber opera personar for the first edition of OFF in 2016. A Song for the Moon, created for younger audiences, is Wantenaar’s first major opera.

Young artistic team
A Song for the Moon has its origins in a workshop organised by the European Network of Opera Academies. This network is an initiative by a number of opera houses, including Dutch National Opera, which develops masterclasses and workshops for young musicians, singers as well as stage directors.

Composition assignment
Dutch National Opera

Coproduction with
La Monnaie (Brussels), Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía (Madrid), Opera Zuid (Maastricht)

With the support of ENOA (European Network of Opera Academies) and the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The original book Een lied voor de maan by Toon Tellegen was published by Em. Querido’s Publishing House, Amsterdam, 2012.

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Team & cast