Opera has the wonderful ability to transport us to different worlds. Opera connects and fuses diverse worlds; of music, theatre, dance and design, of emotion and reason, of heart and head, of the wonderful and familiar, of song and expressiveness, of body and mind, of the individual and society, of the tragic and the comic. Rapture and imagination know no bounds this new season at Opera Zuid. Because the productions that we are presenting with this theater season have one thing in common: they take us on a journey to other worlds. We descend to the underworld, and to the wonder world of our deepest dreams and desires. To utopian wish worlds that ignite revolutions and to the enchanting inner world of our own bodies. On this journey, each opera engages in a different, surprising way with the here and now, with the world as it is and as it could be – and with you, our audience!
In the Broadway opera Lady in the Dark, which has never been performed before in the Netherlands, we see and hear an unexpected side of Kurt Weill, which takes us into the depths of our psyche and the dream worlds of our subconscious. Themes such as pressure to perform, burnout and the search for self-fulfillment and love are brilliantly and movingly captured in a frame story of three miniature dream operas that will leave no one unmoved. Have you ever dreamed about yourself as a circus performer? Or as a glamorous celebrity? Have you ever had a “wedding dream”? Then you cannot and should not miss this trip! Your travel guides are the celebrated American conductor David Stern and rising star director Anna Pool, together with top choreographer Rebecca Howell and a wonderful cast of international and Dutch voices.
With the delightful and maddeningly comic opera Orphée aux Enfers, master humorist and satirist Jacques Offenbach takes us dancing and partying into the underworld – which turns out to be a mirror image of our own bourgeois society. It turns out that it is more fun for gods and people to live in hell than on earth or on Olympus. The classical myth of Orpheus is turned upside down, as are all classical operatic conventions. In a feast of humor and poetry, clown poet Offenbach exposes our hypocrisy and folly, only a hellish Cancan can save the world. Yes, we cancan! The guide for this journey is the character who, in his own words, replaces the classical choir: the Public Opinion. In times of continuous tweeting of opinions, this character gets an extra funny topicality. After the immense success of Fantasio in 2019, we are extremely proud to bring the dream team of Benjamin Prins (director) and Enrico Delamboye (conductor) together again, this time in combination with the stunning design duo Marloes en Wikke.
On our journey we also meet exciting new talents. The young composer Leonard Evers and the talented theater maker Mart van Berckel dive into the world of revolutions together. “Change the world, she needs it,” wrote Bertolt Brecht in a song that also provided the title for Ändere die Welt!. A music theater performance that searches under and behind the gunpowder fumes and the ideals of revolutions throughout history for the utopian dream of another world. At the same time, in this production we look and listen beyond that utopia to our individual aspirations and desires. What does it mean to want to change the world? We are extremely proud to be able to discuss these questions with you in a co-production with our partners from the Nederlandse Reisopera and the Dutch National Opera.
The journey to other worlds is continued with the new family opera Het Lijflied: here we enter the universe together with Ina under our own skin and we listen to the wonderful music of our body. From the beating of our hearts to the simmering of our stomachs, from the bubbling of our intestines to the buzzing of our brains. In duet with her own organs, Ina learns what love is and what it means to live. Only in harmony with her heart does she discover that she is in love. A metaphor for love and for the power of opera could not be more accurate.
Season 2022-2023 will be an adventurous journey of discovery that Opera Zuid will gladly embark on with you. A voyage of discovery into all possible worlds that are or could be ours. We look forward to welcoming you on our travels, near or further from home!
Intendant Waut Koeken