How to make an opera about animals?

Vijf interdisciplinaire teams, een nieuwe generatie operamakers. Studenten van het Conservatorium, de Theaterschool, de Filmacademie en de UvA komen samen om hun droom te realiseren; opera maken. Volg hen hier wekelijks om te zien hoe dat in zijn werk gaat — de inspiratie, de dromen, de tegenslagen en de successen tot de premières tijdens het Opera Forward Festival.

I don’t actually know how to make an opera. But I can tell about the exciting day when I found out what kind of opera I would like to make.

In September we directors started working on this project. We heard that somewhere teams of students becoming dramaturges, writers and composers were creating short operas. That there were people looking at different locations in the building of Dutch National Opera to find spaces where these teams would eventually show their work. But we did not know yet, what the operas would be about, that we would find out later…

On the 24th of September 2015 the teams came to the Theaterschool and each of them presented their concepts to the organization of this project. Not to us directors though. Not yet.

I was sitting at the bar next to our school with my classmates, failing to focus on the beautiful fall sun and drinking our beers, because we were so excited. A few hours later, we went inside again for dinner and wine and – most importantly – to hear the concepts. While listening to the four teams explaining their plans for the opera’s, I imagined myself being on any of those teams… Which would I prefer? Were there some that I really didn’t want to be a part of? It felt like that scene in Harry Potter, where the first years are sorted into a house and everybody at the table of their ‘new’ house starts cheering and chanting. Because we then went to sit with ‘our’ artistic teams, our new family so to speak, to eat lasagna and drink wine and just get to know each other.

I immediately wrote a text message to the scenographer I really wanted to work with: „I will be directing an opera about a fish, a bird and an egg! *fish emoji* *bird emoji* *egg emoji* *dancing ladies emoji*”.

I still don’t know how to make an opera, which is interesting because I seem to be in the middle of doing just that. Our whole team will keep you updated though, on ‘how to make an opera (about animals)’.


Our opera:
What happens when two bordering worlds share a problem but not a language? Our opera takes shape around the universal boundary that separates water and air, the surface, and the misunderstandings that emerge between those that dwell above and beneath it. By inviting the audience to experience one incident from two different perspectives, we aim to explore – through music – the comedy and tragedy of miscommunication. Themes of life, death, wonder, fear and uncertainty are all examined in this lively operatic fable.

Aerjen is te zien op vrijdag 18 maart om 16:30-16:45 en 18:45-19:00 uur op het achtertoneel, Nationale Opera & Ballet

Aerjen is te bezoeken met een gratis dagticket voor OFF Day 4. Bestel nu jouw tickets!