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Die Zauberflöte | Dutch National Opera Academy

Die Zauberflöte | Dutch National Opera Academy

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Die Zauberflöte | Dutch National Opera Academy

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Nikki Treurniet and the Polish-Dutch soprano Zofia Hanna share the role of Cendrillon and Maari Ernits and Deborah Saffery share the role of Prince. Hanna puts in a strong performance during the premiere. She combines a glowing timbre and smooth voice with great empathy. Ernits not only distinguishes himself with a voice that is as powerful as it is lyrical, but also gave her character – balancing between dominance and vulnerability – a great psychological depth. Add to this the two perfectly singing and acting sisters (Vera Fiselier and Laetitia Gerards) and the snippy stepmother (Mia van Essen) and David Visser as Cinderella's father and you have a cast with which you can show yourself when it comes to talent development. Also surprising is the idiosyncratic approach of the young director Caitlin van der Maas. She once worked as assistant director to Johan Simons and, in addition to theater, she was also involved in music theater to a modest extent. With Cendrillon (her first real major classical opera) she demonstrates a refreshing and unconventional view of the genre. She moves the acts to the backstage happening around a contemporary talent show. The king from the original libretto becomes record executive Mr. Le Roi and the prince becomes pop star Prince. It is a fresh, cheerful performance with a meaningful dramatic underlay, because her Cinderella is more than a fairy tale. It is also about social oppression, exploitation and (sexual) discrimination. The raw reality is opposed to romantic love. An interesting approach, which also works theatrically! However, there is still something to be said for her directing: she wants too much at once. The constant running and trotting on stage, the excess of film images, the sparse moments of rest: it is sometimes quite chaotic in which you as a spectator can discover little line. But all in all, this Cendrillon an excellent production, not in the least by the excellently performing Residentie Orkest, which, conducted by Walter Althammer, skilfully balanced between French frivolity and German romanticism.

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13 January 2017www.theaterkrant.nlOswin Schneeweisz

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