• Season 23/24

Season 23/24 in overview

Thu, May 4, 2023

Vechtscene Bozalp

With no fewer than six world premiering creations, artistic director Jan Vandenhouwe presents a season full of new encounters. Alain Platel and Berlinde de Bruyckere unite ballet and opera in Ombra and dance enthusiasts can also look forward to three productions that have never been shown before. Daan Janssens is composing the new opera Brodeck based on the book by Philippe Claudel and in the Vonk production Schemer, Maja Westerveld invites people from Antwerp, Ghent and Mechelen to come together in a café.


Such as the first opera production of the season: La clemenza di Tito by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For the first time, the well-known theatre maker Milo Rau will tackle the opera genre head-on. He situates Mozart's 'Enlightenment opera' in today's reality in which people forced into exile are treated inhumanely. Non-professional players and refugees are given a voice in his staging.

This co-production was made for the Geneva Opera, but could only be digitally streamed there at the height of the corona crisis. The Belgian premiere will therefore be the first live performance of this production conducted by music director Alejo Pérez. The British tenor Jeremy Ovenden plays Tito, the Polish soprano Anna Malesza-Kutny is Vitellia and Anna Goryachova is Sesto.

Alain Platel describes his work as an encounter between people who stay in one place for too long. "And suddenly something happens." After the international success of C(H)OEURS, he is now bringing together the dancers, chorus and Symphony Orchestra of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen with singer and performer TK Russell for a new hybrid production: Ombra. This time he is working with music by Handel, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, among others. The set design is by Belgian visual artist Berlinde de Bruyckere.

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Grand Théâtre de Genève (live stream '21) | CAROLE PARODI

In the acclaimed French novel Le rapport de Brodeck (Brodeck's Report) by the highly-regarded author Philippe Claudel, an encounter with The Other leads to a tragedy that recalls the darkest chapters of modern history. The Belgian composer Daan Janssens takes the book as the subject of his third opera: Brodeck. The production is directed by the Belgian Fabrice Murgia, with the Swedish conductor Marit Strindlund as musical director and in the leading roles the French baritone Damien Pass, the Italian soprano Elisa Soster and the Belgian actor Josse De Pauw .

After a long absence, operetta is back on the programme with a semi-staged version of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss under the musical direction of none other than maestro Alexander Joel, who is no stranger to our house and has a perfect grasp of Viennese exuberance. Combined with an excellent cast of operetta voices such as the German tenor Christoph Strehl as Von Eisenstein, the Italian soprano Caterina Marchesini as Rosalinde, the Belarusian soprano Maria Chabounia as Adèle and the Austrian baritone Wolfgang Stefan Schwaiger, the champagne corks will be festively popping. Under the watchful eye of director Tom Goossens the revelry will be expertly overseen.

Two internationally acclaimed productions will return to complete the opera season: Les pêcheurs de perles by Georges Bizet in the production by FC Bergman and Jenůfa by Leoš Janáček directed by Robert Carsen.

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Photo season 18/19: Annemie Augustijns


In the ballet programme, two classics from the repertoire will be presented together in one evening. The legendary Petrushka by Igor Stravinsky and Die sieben Todsünden, the ballet chanté by Kurt Weill.

Israeli-German choreographer Ella Rothschild, known for using puppets in her choreographies, takes the ballet Petrushka from its original setting and brings a new story about the tensions between man and nature.

The Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis, who has long been garnering attention abroad, will make his debut with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. He will choreograph Die sieben Todsünden for which Kurt Weill also composed songs that will be performed by Sara Jo Benoot and new talent from the International Opera Academy.

Not only the set design by Eva Veronica Born connects the two ballets, the masterful music by Stravinsky and Weill will be performed live by the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alejo Pérez.

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Foto uit seizoen 21/22: Filip Van Roe

Opera Ballet Vlaanderen wants to offer a safe haven for key works from Flemish dance heritage by passing them on to a new generation. A new work that has entered OBV's repertoire is Puur by Wim Vandekeybus. This iconic 2005 performance takes ancient myths and the biblical story of the Slaughter of the Innocents as a starting point for a choreography about extreme violence against innocent victims. In this hybrid performance, dance, theatre and film come together in a dark universe in which Vandekeybus' electrifying movement language and provocative images never lose their poeti

Associate artist at OBV Jan Martens presents another world-premiering creation. After the internationally acclaimed large ensemble work FUTUR PROCHE , he opts for a more intimate work, Graciela Quintet set to music by the Greek composer Graciela Paraskevaídis. In addition, he will rework a fragment from his solo ELISABETH GETS HER WAY for the dancers of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.

Martens' new work enters into dialogue with two classics by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, also an associate artist at OBV, set to music by Steve Reich: Piano Phase and Clapping Music, as well as Twelve Ton Rose by Trisha Brown. Contemporary chamber music, which forms the leitmotif of this programme, will be performed live by the Hermes Ensemble.

A last world-premiering creation springs from the rich imagination of the American choreographer Richard Siegal. His New Ballet Mécanique will be a collaboration with installation and sound artist Zimoun, who creates immersive worlds full of movement and sound from constructions of everyday elements.

This work finds a perfect counterpart in Half Life by Sharon Eyal, the irresistible hit of two seasons ago danced to Ori Lichtik's pumping techno beat.

But the dance season starts with a classic from our own house: Choreolab. Once again, the dancers themselves are allowed to act as choreographers. This time, each choreography will be accompanied live by members of the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen Symphony Orchestra. Choreolab kicks off the season early with a premiere on September 1.


Unfortunately, this early start to the season does not make it possible to participate in Klassiek in de Stad this year, but a series of ambitious concerts will more than make up for that. The Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, the monumental Seventh Symphony by Antonín Dvořák and the irresistible Ninth Symphony by Beethoven form the backbone of the concert season and will all be conducted by maestro Alejo Perez. In addition, we will continue our successful series of aperitif concerts in which local talent is given a spotlight.

Alejo Pérez Portret
Alejo Pérez


Vonk, the pillar of our activities that is focused on the development of new talent, innovation and inclusion, will provide a new large-scale participatory project. In Schemer (or Twilight), Maja Westerveld invites residents of Antwerp, Ghent and Mechelen of all ages and cultures to join in. Just like in a café when the evening falls or the sun comes up again, people's stories come to the surface. Stories are told and people sing, celebrate, and mourn. This committed group of residents is already rehearsing for the project.

Director Benny Claessens takes the goddesses from ancient myths as a starting point in White Flag. His goddesses are Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe, Teresa Vittucci and Challenge Gumbodete. Together with a queer chorus, they rebel against traditional male values such as strength, genius and heroism. White Flag will be a music theatre performance about how we can get to a new beginning.

Another crusade pays a vsit to Antwerp. The successful family opera Kruistocht (Crusade) by Frederik Neyrinck will now be performed with the Youth Orchestra Flanders.

Of course, the new season will provide plenty of other encounters during the introductions, guided tours, film and much more.

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Photo: White Flag - Philip Frowein

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Photo top: Olgaç Bozalp

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