Glorious ensembles in Dutch National Opera’s new Tannhäuser

Wagner: Tannhäuser

At Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam on the 6th of April, 2019

The unveiling of Dutch National Opera’s new Tannhäuser was a very good night for Wagner, chiefly thanks to the magnificent orchestra and chorus. Director Christof Loy offered an interesting take on the singing knight torn between carnal rapture with the goddess Venus and his socially acceptable love for Elisabeth, and there was some fine solo singing. But it was the spellbinding colours and three-dimensional splendour of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the house chorus that swept one away.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Albrecht’s Mahler 8 is a fierce struggle for redemption

Mahler: Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Albrecht

At the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 23rd of February, 2019

After ten years as chief conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Dutch National Opera, Marc Albrecht will leave both posts halfway through 2020. In the meantime, Amsterdam audiences can look forward to another year of performances with his firm imprint, such as this high-octane Symphony no. 8 in E flat major by Gustav Mahler.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Porgy and Bess at Dutch National Opera – Exhilarating and Moving

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess

At Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam on the 16th of January, 2019

Thanks to the phenomenon of international co-productions, Dutch National Opera’s first-ever Porgy and Bess is an energizing, heart-stirring show with a wow-factor cast.

Full review on Opera Today.

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Spectacular Gurrelieder revived at Dutch National Opera

Schoenberg: Gurrelieder

Dutch National Opera, 18 April 2018

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Plan of Gurre Castle, Denmark. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Toward the end of Pierre Audi’s last season at Dutch National Opera, the house has revived one of its artistic director’s most admired productions. The first ever and, so far, only staged version of Schoenberg’s gargantuan cantata represents the best of Audi’s innovative work.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Tristan und Isolde smoulders at Dutch National Opera

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Dutch National Opera, 18 January 2018

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Tristan and Isolde on a German stamp issued in 1933

After its co-producers in Paris and Rome, it is Dutch National Opera’s turn to present director Pierre Audi’s shadow-clad Tristan und Isolde. In Amsterdam Audi’s lucid visuals complemented a strong, balanced cast. Conductor Marc Albrecht kept a lyrical Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra on a concentrated simmer for the full four hours. This was a Tristan und Isolde to treasure.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Solid La forza del destino opens Dutch National Opera season

Verdi: La forza del destino

Dutch National Opera, 9th September 2017

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The fatalism that pervades the Verdi’s La forza del destino is mostly incongruous with our rationalist times, as is the idea of spiritual redemption. However, although destiny steers the characters in Forza towards unlikely chance encounters, their motives ­– prejudice, hatred, love, revenge – remain ageless.

Full review on Bachtrack.

Rigoletto is mad but the singing is fine at Dutch National Opera

Verdi: Rigoletto

Dutch National Opera, 9th May 2017

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Le roi s’amuse (1932) by Victor Hugo

What happened to Rigoletto after the hitman he hired to kill his daughter Gilda’s abductor murdered her instead? He went mad and was committed to a mental institution. This is Damiano Michieletto’s twist on Verdi’s compact but tremendous tragedy Rigoletto for Dutch National Opera. Although intriguing, the production is overanalytical and is ultimately sabotaged by its own cleverness. The cast compensates with a good old Verdi singfest.

Full review on Backtrack.

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