New adventure

When I was about 11 years old, I had the opportunity to do my school-internship with a production of the Dutch Radio Choir, where my mom works as a soprano. I got to see everything: the place where the choir books were prepared, got to sit in the front of the moving truck for the orchestra, got lifted onto the stage of the Concertgebouw with the grand-piano via the stage lift. Even got a tour of the Concertgebouw!

What an enormous task it is to prepare such a production and how incredibly special that, next to all of that work, everyone showed an 11-year-old everything with so much love, as if I were part of it all.

I sat in my chair during reheasals, and the choir sang Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky. I was deeply impressed. How can so many people sound as if they are one? An organism with 80 heads that can whisper and roar, and breathe as one.

It’s truly unbelievable that I now have the privilege of sitting in the midst of all those beautiful sounds with my chair and being part of it as a freelancer with the fantastic Dutch Radio Choir.

I’m eagerly looking forward to performing Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and Tsoupaki’s Aurora with the choir on September 15th and 17th at TivoliVredenburg and the Concertgebouw. If you had told me when I was 11 that I would ever write something like this…


In the Christmas holidays of 2022/23, I will be performing in Holland Opera’s Odiezee! (<— click here for more info and tickets) The show is sung in Dutch.

“In this adaptation of the Odyssey by Abdelkader Benali, Thalia lives with her 3 mothers in a small flat, 3-storey behind. She worries about the climate and rising sea levels and is soon nicknamed O! This! Sea! She misses her father; he is out at sea rescuing people. Odiezee tries to call him, but her mothers won’t hear of it. He is too busy, he is too far away, he absolutely must not be disturbed.

Odiezee decides to look for him herself. And so her journey leads past the ‘sea-foaming’ boys via the terrifying eye to Circe’s snack bar. A journey in which she discovers not only her own courage, but also what things in life are truly of value.

To be seen this Christmas holiday at the Veerensmederij in Amersfoort. Odiezee is wonderful for everyone from 6 years and up.”

– Holland Opera

After 5 intense weeks of rehearsals, yesterday we played the premiere in front of an audience! What a treat to finally be able to share this exciting adventure with everyone! Together with the other singers and the bayan, we experienced the exciting journey of Odiezee. Directed by Rianne Meboer, music by Anne-Maartje Lemereis and a libretto by Abdelkader Benali.

We will take you on an adventure past modern versions of the Cyclops and the Sirens several more times this Christmas holiday. With the fantastic Erik Slik, Florien de la Fosse, Berend Eijkhout and Robbrecht van Cauwenberghe, we will sing, climb, jump, sneak, turn and fly across the stage! I am immensely looking forward to it!

Will you join us on the adventure?

Aria 2022

This year, I participated in the TV programme Aria. What an adventure! Together with 9 other candidates, I was allowed to compete for a spot in the opera studio of the Dutch National Opera.

Although I have some experience on stage by now, this was a whole new experience: working with camera positions, long hours in make-up, a jury, singing from a tower. It’s a very different process from preparing for an opera, so that was a special challenge!

I really enjoyed the run-up to the filming: getting to know the other candidates and the musical rehearsals with the orchestra. Making the videos introducing ourselves was also great fun! You saw me running, something I like to do in my spare time. What you didn’t see? The cameraman I was trying to keep up with, sitting in the trunk of a car in front of me. The transformations we went through on the day of shooting were also impressive! Everyone worked really hard to make it a great show.

What I enjoyed most of all? Getting to know so many great other singers. Every single one of them went on stage with such passion for opera and the will to share it with the world. They are all such heroes and I’m sure we will meet again soon to make beautiful music together.

Goud! & Lied voor de Maan

In the past year, I worked on two children’s operas, both co-productions of the Dutch National Opera and Opera Zuid. They were streamed online, because of the corona pandemic. It was a very new experience to play in front of a camera crew and I am so happy we were able to reach everyone at home with these beautiful stories.

But… I’m also very much looking forward to playing for a lot of children later this year and next season!

Goud! is an opera about a boy and a magic fish, written by composer Leonard Evers with a libretto of Flora Verbrugge. Kenza Koutchoukali directed the opera. Would you like to see the opera, or would you like to know more about it? Click here for more information about Goud!

Lied voor de maan is an opera by Mathilde Wantenaar (libretto: Mathilde Wantenaar en Willem Bruls, based on the children’s book by Toon Tellegen), directed by Beatrice Lachausée. Click here for more information about Lied voor de Maan. Or watch the trailer:

After playing Lied voor de Maan in the Dutch theaters, it was such a joy to bring this role to la Monnaie in Brussels. There, I was part of the French version: Une chanson pour la lune. It was a fun challenge to sing the opera in Dutch and French! Sometimes we even sang both languages on the same day, which was a great brain-trainer for the whole team!

Update: Stay tuned, Lied voor de maan might just return to the stage in 2023!

Magelone & Peter

Although we haven’t had a lot of chances to perform this musical short-story yet, because of the Coronapandemic, I happily think back of the rehearsals and the few moments that we got to share it with an audience. It was incredibly special to be able to work on the beautiful music (Brahms op. 33) with such a nice team, while the pandemic had put life on hold.

I can’t wait for summer, where we will perform this Reisopera production at different campingplaces in the Netherlands!

If you would like to read more about the production and the team, you can find more information here.

The Reisopera made a very nice documentary of the campingtour:

Bonsai Garden

During the first lockdown in the corona pandemic, Jan-Peter de Graaff composed a series of mini-opera’s, produced by Opera Zuid. They were directed by Kenza Koutchoukali and performed by various musicians and singers.

The word “Bon-sai” is a Japanese term which, literally translated, means “planted in a container”.

In this mini opera ‘Hands-free’, Amanda is trying to communicate through a text, that is being read out loud. The message consists of a series of emoticons.

Hands-Free, Bonsai Garden

We worked with the equipment we had at home at the time, since we weren’t able to meet anyone due to the corona virus. Our rehearsals with Jan-Peter and Kenza took place over Zoom and Skype and every time we finished a recording, we sent it to Jan-Peter so that he could give us his notes. The recordings were made with our own zoom-devices and laptopcamera’s and Zoey van der Heijden (editing) and Hans Erblich (sound) did a great job with the material we sent them. Would you like to see the rest of this mini opera-series? You can find them here, on YouTube.

Jan-Peter de Graaff

I feel like I need to devote a bit of my website to composer Jan-Peter de Graaff, since I had the honour to play a part in his very first opera: ‘All Rise!’ (also directed by Kenza), which he wrote for his Bachelor Exam. This happened to also be my very first solo role in an opera ever.


Once I finished my Bachelor Studies in The Hague, I continued to study at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen (Germany) in the class of Prof. Rachel Robins. Besides all the other awesome classes they offer (Songclass, Correp, Alexander Technique, Drama, ballroom dancing, fencing) the singing department organizes two projects each year: an opera in the winter semester and a smaller project in the summer semester.

Joining the projects is always a lot of fun, since not only the singing department is involved, but also a lot of the other departments: physical theater students, dancers, instrumentalists, actors. And it’s a great way of studying roles of course!

Some of the projects I joined, are: Fairy Queen, l’Enfant et les sortilèges, Wunderland and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Where it all started…

After discovering I really liked classical singing and wasn’t too shy to open my mouth and start singing anymore, I started my studies at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where I had an amazing time. Studying singing, studying my own voice, has become a journey of which I hope it will never end.

Some of the major highlights of my studies in The Hague (next to all the nice moments at the Grote Markt of course…) were the projects I got to join. We travelled to New York with Ton Koopman to sing the Hohe Messe together with students of the Juilliard School. I played one of the evil stephsisters in Massenet’s Cendrillon, a DNOA production. And I created my own theatrical performance, Gretchen, inspired by the story of Susanna Margaretha Brandt.

I’m super happy that I was given the chance to study this beautiful profession and for all the lessons I have been taught.