Dutch National Opera

Dutch National Opera creates and performs dramatic musical art, focusing on quality, diversity and innovation. This is expressed by taking a fresh approach to the opera classics, rediscovering repertoire that has seldom been performed and creating brand-new operas. Come and be inspired in our theatre, where you will be given a warm welcome.

La Traviata | 2012-2013
It tells the story of Violetta Valéry, a beautiful French “Courtesan” supported by lovers, in joyful Paris of the 1840’s. At her recovery-from-illness-party, Violetta meets nobleman Alfredo Germont that apparently has been admiring her from afar for over a year. Violetta has Baron Douphol as a lover, but as a free woman she considers the love offer, after few days she accepts it and after 3 months they already happily live together out in the country, with her former life left behind. 

One day, it all happens at once; her maid Annina tells Alfredo that Violetta has been selling her belongings to pay their debts, and Alfredo that realize Violetta’s sacrifice, leaves for Paris to take care of things.

On that same day Violetta gets an invitation from Paris to attend her friend’s party that same evening. She chooses to stay at home when unexpectedly Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont comes to visit. He used the opportunity to persuade her to leave his son, as she with her doubtful reputation risks his daughter’s engagement and the name of the noble family. Although she proves him of her sincere love to his son, Germont insists and Violetta with great grief surrenders and promises to leave his son. She acts fast; she sends a note to her friend in Paris accepting the party invitation and immediately sits down to write the farewell letter to her love, when Alfredo returns home, catching her by surprise. She, being confused, dramatically declares her unconditional love and rushes out to Paris, living her farewell letter behind. When Alfredo reads the letter, and finds the party invitation on her desk, he suspects that Violetta’s former lover, the Baron is behind all this and he rushes out back to Paris to confront Violetta at the party.

At the party, Alfredo mingles and joins the gambling games to try his luck. When he sees Violetta arriving with her Baron Douphol, he vigorously declares he came to proclaim his Violetta, and the Baron who feels annoyed, responds by joining him at the gambling table. Alfredo is lucky with his cards more than with love, and the Baron loses a small fortune to him.

Dinner is announced, and everyone leaves. Alfredo comes to leave with his winnings when stopped by Violetta who begs him to leave the place as she fears that the Baron will challenge him to a duel. He refuses to leave without her, but she has made a secret promise to his father and cannot return home. Tragically again, she is led to deny her true love and instead declare love to the Baron.

Alfredo naturally gets furious and as an act of rage he humiliates and denounces Violetta in front of everyone, throwing his new money at her feet, in payment “for her services”. She faints and everyone denounces Alfredo, including his own father that shows up and Baron that keeps insisting to confront him in a dual.

Days after, Violetta is ill and alone, reading Alfredo’s father news letter. He tells her that the Baron was slightly wounded in the duel, and that he himself told Alfredo the truth about her and that she was forced by him to leave and that he his son is on his way to ask for her forgiveness. But it is already too late for Violetta.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg | 2012-2013
The story takes place in Nuremberg during the middle of the 16th century. At the time, Nuremberg was a free imperial city, and one of the centers of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. The story revolves around the real-life guild of Meistersinger (Master Singers), an association of amateur poets and musicians, mostly from the middle class and often master craftsmen in their main professions. The mastersingers developed a craftsmanlike approach to music-making, with an intricate system of rules for composing and performing songs. The work draws much of its charm from its faithful depiction of the Nuremberg of the era and the traditions of the mastersinger guild. One of the main characters, the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, is based on an actual historical figure: Hans Sachs (1494–1576), the most famous of the historical mastersingers.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg occupies a unique place in Wagner’s oeuvre. It is the only comedy among his mature operas (he having come to reject his early Das Liebesverbot), and is also unusual in being set in a historically well-defined time and place rather than a mythical or legendary setting. It is the only mature Wagner opera to be based on an entirely original story, devised by Wagner himself. It is also the only one of Wagner’s mature operas in which there are no supernatural or magical powers or events. It incorporates many of the operatic conventions that Wagner had railed against in his essays on the theory of opera: rhymed verse, arias, choruses, a quintet, and even a ballet. Die Meistersinger is, like L’Orfeo, Capriccio, and Wagner’s own earlier Tannhäuser, a musical composition in which the composition of music is a pivotal part of the story.