All of Rotterdam enjoyed contemporary opera and music theatre during the 12th edition of Operadagen Rotterdam over the course of 10 days. The groundbreaking festival presented more than 100 performances to capacity crowds in the large theatres and every nook and cranny in the city. Operadagen Rotterdam counted many sold out halls and was visited by an enthusiastic and diverse audience, which is increasingly from abroad. Hundreds of professionals from the Netherlands and elsewhere attended to monitor the latest developments in the field and meet colleagues. Special festival guests included Nora Fischer, Claron McFadden, Marco Mencoboni, Leonardo García Alarcón, and the members of the European Cultural Parliament. The festival closed in style on Sunday 21 May with the catchy performance IN KOOR!
Links to a city
Operadagen Rotterdam has connected with the city more than ever before as it seeks to bring as many citizens of Rotterdam into contact with opera and music theatre as possible. The festival staged family performances for the very first time at Maaspodium, a new location in West. Residents of Zuid were close to the festival as well. Events in their neighbourhood included the Night walk starting from the Nieuwe Luxor Theater, the Opera Bicycle Tour and performances by Living Voices in the City at locations such as Paviljoen aan het Water and the Peperklip.
Full houses, flows of tears
The Rooftop Concert on top of the Bijenkorf, the Paradijskerk Concert, and the premieres of Diary of one who disappeared, Before I die, Freddie, and Shorelines drew capacity crowds. Emotions were running high at the performances of Nightshade: Aubergine, The Channel, and Liebesleid as visitors wiped away tears en masse. Capella Mediterraneo's l’Orfeo, led by the Argentinian star conductor Leonardo García Alarcón, received a standing ovation that lasted minutes in The Doelen as the audience went wild.
Music theatre talent in the spotlight
Operation Muziektheater showed new works by today's and tomorrow's upcoming music-theatre talents to professionals from around the world on Saturday 20 May. The first edition of GALA! was subsequently staged in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg. Awards were presented as part of the festive programme to the ground-breaking Ragazze Quartet (NL), star soprano Nora Fischer (NL), Ana Ablamonova (producer of OPEROMANIJA, Lithuania), director Jorinde Keesmaat (NL), and the organisation behind the Umculo Cape Festival (South Africa) for their significant contributions to contemporary music theatre.
Prominent Rotterdam citizens appointed as members of European Cultural Parliament
Operadagen Rotterdam hosted the first session in the Netherlands of the European Cultural Parliament (ECP), the exclusive think tank for shared European culture and identity. 100 European personalities in the fields of arts, culture and letters from 43 countries debated the role of culture in integration from 11 through 13 May. Four prominent residents of the town were appointed as Dutch ECP members in consultation with the Municipality of Rotterdam. They are Francine Houben (creative director, Mecanoo architects), the philosopher Henk Oosterling, opera and music theatre maker Arlon Luijten, and Melle Daamen (general director, Theater Rotterdam).
Opening performance Operadagen Rotterdam 2018
The next festival edition takes place from 18 through 27 May 2018. Operadagen Rotterdam 2018 opens in the Nieuwe Luxor Theater with Earth Diver, an intense and masterly musical portrait of a society in transition, created by ChorWerk Ruhr (Germany) in coproduction with Operadagen Rotterdam.
About Operadagen Rotterdam
Operadagen Rotterdam is an international opera and music theatre festival. The festival presents contemporary, innovative, and ground-breaking productions by successful young and adventurous makers from around the world. Go to www.operadagenrotterdam.nl for information about next year's festival.