Upload – behind the scenes

Unique preview of a brand-new opera

What if eternal life were possible by the simple procedure of uploading your mind to the cloud? What would that mean for your humanity, your identity and your relationships with others? These questions are at the heart of Upload, Michel van der Aa’s newest opera. During OFF, we take you into the creative process of Upload and give you a preview. Later in the spring, a film version of the opera will follow, and eventually, so will a stage version.

It may sound like science fiction, but developments in this area are racing ahead at warp speed. In not too long it will be possible to transfer all our memories, thoughts and experiences to an artificial brain. That way we will continue to exist forever and remain present in the lives of our loved ones.

Father and daughter
In the opera Upload, a man undergoes this very process. He hopes that creating a digital version of himself will make him happier. In the last stage he abandons his physical body and returns home to his daughter as an upload. She does her best to understand him. Why did he make this choice? Is he still the same person? And how does life for them go on from here?

Michel van der Aa’s interdisciplinary operas
As with earlier works by Michel van der Aa, Upload promises to be a musical and visual tour de force, with music theatre, film and modern digital technology closely interwoven. A world premiere that allows the audience to see and hear contemporary opera at its most powerful. Dutch National Opera previously presented Van der Aa’s After Life, Sunken Garden and Blank Out, which seamlessly combine theatre and (3-D)film.

The German ensemble MusikFabrik, led by Otto Tausk, brings the new composition to life together with baritone Roderick Williams and the sensational soprano Julia Bullock, who recently sang at Dutch National Opera in Girls of the Golden West.

Opera in three stages
Due to the pandemic, the rehearsals for the stage version of Upload could not result in a performance for a live audience just yet. Therefore, Upload will be presented in three forms: during OFF, you can dive into the world of Upload with an exclusive preview. In the spring of 2021, a film version of Upload will be released. Eventually, the stage version will be presented in one of our future seasons.

Co-production with
Oper Köln (Cologne), Bregenzer Festspiele, Park Avenue Armory (New York), Ensemble Musikfabrik and DoubleA Foundation

Commissioned by
Dutch National Opera, Oper Köln (Cologne), Bregenzer Festspiele, Park Avenue Armory (New York), Ensemble Musikfabrik and DoubleA Foundation

Kindly supported by

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor ammodo logo

Ensemble Musikfabrik is kindly supported by Aventis Foundation

Watch the festival trailer:

Team & cast