A futuristic view on opera at the Opera Forward Festival

A futuristic view on opera at the Opera Forward Festival

Mar 10, 2017 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
Half-tourist and half-journalist, I am a full-time hot chocolate drinker who never leaves her camera. Always on the lookout, from classical music to rap, to the arts or good spots to visit, I could also feed myself with history and culture of all kinds.

Opera is not dead, and it’s even part of the future. Next week the Opera Forward Festival (OFF) will be back with a diverse program of talents, talks, operas and even more. The festival offers a modern view on opera, by exploring the next generation of artists and leading new works or ideas.

Stories of our time

Who would have thought that the opera style, born in Italy in the 17th century, would still attract so many people today The OFF aims to show a wide audience that opera can be up-to-date. We highlighted three shows that are definitely worth the visit:

Alban Berg’s play Wozzeck is opening the festival. This involved work reveals how a fragile human being can come to a desperate act, as he is a penniless young soldier exploited by his superiors.

In the second edition of the Opera Forward Festival you’ll discover the next generation of artists.

On the third day, the première of Fortress Europe takes place. It’s a new opera about one of the most important issues of our time: the refugee crisis. A drama full of political interests, personal desires and the tumult of fear and hatred of populists, as Lady Europe and her son came to live from North Africa in Brussels. Producer Floris Visser received five nominations for the Golden Mask, Russia’s most prestigious theater prize!

The New Prince will even take us to the future, straight to 2032, as Machiavelli, regarded as the inventor of real politics, is asked to rewrite his famous book The Ruler (1515) with familiar names that we would now recognize. It’s healthy to reflect on our past, and consequently our future, because the abuse of power remains an important issue.

But other plays will rise questions about current issues as well. And You Must Suffer is a contemporary reflection on identity. Caliban is about an anti-hero who is both victim and perpetrator, being a power-hungry and lonely child who wants to be loved. He loses his country, fighting against oppression as a slave. Finally, a more sensory experience with the Aus Licht concert on the second day. It’s a sneak peak of The National Opera’s massive project: a 29-hour storytelling session about the struggle between the material and the spiritual. The cycle is divided into seven full-length operas, each with its own significance: every opera represents a day of the week.

Learn more about opera

After each play, a debate or aftertalk will take place about the questions the play raised. But there are also interviews, keynotes and masterclasses with some prominent artists and writers, to talk about art in relation to power. During three OFF Days you can discover the New Compositions about how art can change the world, on March 22, or New Talents of opera makers on March 24 along with the afterparty by The Rest is Noise, and The New Vocals on March 25. In the second edition of the Opera Forward Festival you’ll discover the next generation of artists.

Opera Forward Festival 2017

When: March 18-31
Where: Nationale Opera & Ballet, Amstel 3
Tickets: From €15,- to €55,- | Here
More info: Website & Facebook event

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