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!
What would you wish for if you could wish for anything you wanted? 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.