Marina Rebeka, Annette Dasch & J’Nai Bridges Lead Dutch National Opera’s Reimagined Spring Season

By Francisco Salazar

Following the cancelation of its 2020-21 season, the Dutch National Opera has announced an alternate program.

The company revealed that it will present “Die ersten Menschen” by Rudi Stephan, directed by Calixto Bieito in his DNO debut. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will be conducted by François-Xavier Roth and the work will star Kyle Ketelsen, Annette Dasch, Leigh Melrose, and John Osborn. The production will replace “La damnation de Faust,” a project that proved too large-scale under the current government restrictions.

The work will be performed on June 3 and if the measures in place at that time allow for a live audience, there will be further performances. The opening night will be streamed live via

The company also announced its Opera Forward Festival which will be held from March 18 to 21, 2021. For the complete program click here.

The Dutch National Opera will also present Christof Loy’s film debut. Instead of Lehár’s “Die lustige Witwe,” a film set in Amsterdam will be recorded with a musical repertoire of operettas, musicals, and French chansons. The film will star Henk Poort, Theresa Kronthaler, Thomas Oliemans, and Annette Dasch. The recordings will take place at the end of March and will be released in the autumn of 2021.

The company will present “Goud!,” children’s opera by Leonard Evers for ages 4 and over. The work will be streamed on April 16 during Children’s Music Week. The company announced that if restrictions at that time allow, the live performances of “Goud!” will take place in NO&B in May.

There will also be a farewell concert to chorus master Ching-Lien Wu that is set for April 22. In a joint stream with the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wu will conduct DNO’s chorus in Johannes Brahms’ “Ein deutsches Requiem.”

On May 6, the DNO will perform Donizetti’s Tudor Trilogy concert directed by Jetske Mijnssen and conducted by Enrique Mazzola. The concert will feature highlights from “Anna Bolena,” “Maria Stuarda,” and “Roberto Devereux” and will star Marina Rebeka, J’Nai Bridges, Ismael Jordi, and Roberto Tagliavini. The concert will be streamed.

The DNO announced that Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” will be toured in co-production with Opera Zuid and De Nederlandse Reisopera, with a cast that mainly consists of members of the Dutch National Opera Studio. The cast will include Julietta Aleksanyan, José Romero, Martin Mkhize, Sam Carl, and Bibi Ortjens. The work premieres on May 23 in Eindhoven.