Urgent, compelling and extravagant. The Opera Forward Festival (OFF) of Dutch National Opera is a contrarian exploration of unknown territory. With groundbreaking music theater productions, in-depth programs and new collaborations, OFF searches for sounds that are still too little heard within opera. Experience the conversation with progressive and critical voices about the future of the art form. With four parts Operas, Labs, Sounds and Talks OFF is a celebration of what opera is all about: a fusion of various arts into a music-theatrical whole. Central to the Opera Forward Festival 2023 is, among other things, the music theater performance Ändere die Welt!

Revolutionary musical theatre

In the music theater performance Ändere die Welt! we see a group of people in the aftermath of a revolution. They try to build a new life while asking themselves: how do you change the world? Ändere die Welt! is a collage performance with existing music from the opera and song repertoire and spoken word artist Amara van der Elst, who guides the spectator through the performance and provides commentary in the language of 2023. Various revolutions have left their mark in music history. Together with conductor, arranger and pianist Pedro Beriso, the existing opera and lieder repertoire of Hanns Eisler, Weill, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Schumann, Auber, Beethoven and Wagner, in combination with the contemporary sounds of spoken word and electronic soundscapes, was used to create an idiosyncratic musical created a world that breathes rebellion, change and renewal. The young, promising theater maker Mart van Berckel brings it all together on stage. Young talents from the National Opera Studio sing in this production.

Amara van der Elst:

“The idea of ​​revolution that people always have is that it must be violent. Big, hard and fast. The message of Ändere die Welt! (Literal translation: Change the world!) is not so much a statement as a question: what if it didn’t have to be? What if we bring change from softness and love? So much hard, so much painful has happened in recent times. Things change very quickly, so that we as people and society do not really have time to think. I think this performance literally wants people to sit still in their chairs and think about what we are doing.”

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