Bonsai Garden, 8 miniature operas grown in quarantine (2020)

5 May ’20 > 16 June ’20


Human creativity and the need for expression cannot be locked away! Opera Zuid premieres a new living room opera every week until the end of the season. The young composer Jan-Peter de Graaff – who made the chamber opera ‘De Grens’ at Opera Zuid – and opera director Kenza Koutchoukali collaborate on a new mini-opera online every week. Jan-Peter de Graaff associates this project with the bonsai tree: meticulously cultivated with careful attention to detail in an enclosed environment. This approach parallels the development of these mini-operas. The intimate and arresting snapshots give individual voice to our shared reality.

Help the performing arts fight the corona pandemic and support this project’s makers. Donations to Leonore Foundation: NL92 TRIO 0338 9423 78

Composer Jan-Peter de Graaff Jan-Peter de Graaff grew up on the island of Terschelling and began composing aged 15. He graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague in 2016 with the opera All Rise! In 2018 he won the Rostrum Prize for composers under 30 for his orchestral work Le Café de nuit. He has since been a sought-after composer at home and abroad. His music is translucent, lavishly orchestrated, melodic, direct and always infused with crisp form. His compositions often combine theatrical, dramatic and non-musical elements. More info: 

Director Kenza Koutchoukali Kenza Koutchoukali grew up between her father’s blues and her mother’s baroque. When she directed Jan-Peter de Graaff’s new composition in 2016, it opened the world of contemporary music to her. Kenza’s direction seeks ‘the fantastic dimension of reality.’ Words she wishes were hers, but they come from a book by photographer Jean-Claude Gautrand.

Bonsai Garden is produced by the Leonore Foundation and Opera Zuid.


Part 8. From a distance
Zang Eva Kroon
Bass clarinet Vincent Martig
Libretto Yuri Robbers
Composer Jan-Peter de Graaff
Direction Kenza Koutchoukali
Editing Zoey van der Heijden
Sound editing and mixing Hans Erblich





Tue 23.06.2020

Opera Zuid Online