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Tradition and renewal united in Operadagen Rotterdam (‘Opera Days Rotterdam’)

Conserve all that is good about classical music for the future. That requires a subtle balance between tradition and renewal; something Operadagen Rotterdam succeeds in — par excellence. This was proven once again during the twelfth edition in 2017. Operadagen Rotterdam is diverse and accessible; these are the main reasons why the international branch society Classical:NEXT put the cultural institution on the Innovation Award shortlist — the only Dutch candidate. The Bunschoten Fund has given a Quick Scan, worth € 5,080, to help Operadagen Rotterdam acquire new insights for fundraising in the future, plus a coaching program worth € 17,500.

Operadagen Rotterdam is the premier festival for contemporary opera and music theater. The twelfth edition in 2017 brought more than a hundred performances in all corners of the city: on the main cultural stages, but also on squares, on top of stores, in the harbor and even in a fitness center. Visitors make a journey along new and adventurous forms of opera and music theater.

Operadagen Rotterdam presents international eye catchers, new interpretations of classics and brand-new compositions. From old traditions like the Paradijskerkconcert to brand new ones like GALA! Also new in 2017 were multimedia projects and installations and a youth and family program. 2017 was also the year when a new, four-year festival theme took off: Lost & Found. The first part focuses on Departures: the moment of leaving. The festival theme connects to the here and now in which our society is moving constantly.

Operadagen Rotterdam is known for its new and adventurous shows and special locations. For example, on the Nolet terrain in Schiedam AquaSonic was programmed: the first underwater opera ever. The musicians and the singer performed while being immersed entirely in large aquaria, while the audience enjoyed the sounds of this Danish collective on the dry waterside.

Just as remarkable is the performance Parsifal, Richard Wagner’s opera, completely ‘refurbished’ to match the ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city’ theme. Parsifal combines tap dancing knight choirs, philosophy, pop music, transition experts and carton children’s musicals.