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.