Jun 2, 2006 - Jun 25, 2006

Holland Festival 2006

Holland Festival

International Performing Arts Festival Amsterdam

Impression Holland Festival 2006
The 2006 Holland Festival did not base its programme selection on any predetermined thematic premise, but building a carefully considered chain of related elements and mutual relationships a theme emerged nonetheless: ‘Melancholy – Hysteria’. Pierre Audi spent a year with his festival team preparing the blueprint for this 2006 festival. Shunning superficial trends or ‘first drafts’, the team consciously developed a more profound approach to the performing arts. First laying a solid foundation, they built a finely mazed programme, connecting Amsterdam and the Netherlands with the wider world of international performing arts. Within this programme, the theatre claimed a prominent place. Eight different productions - from Russia, Japan, Germany and Iran - had their Dutch premiere. In total, the Stadsschouwburg, Westergasfabriek and Theatre Bellevue hosted no less than 25 performances, including a marathon performance based on The Great Gatsby, the traditional legacy of Kabuki theatre, Jürgen Gosch’s controversial Macbeth, Simons’ Sentimenti and Van Hove’s Hedda Gabler: Once again, June was the undisputable ‘month of theatre’ in the Netherlands. The 2006 Holland Festival explored the boundaries separating performing arts and visual culture, and then resolutely crossed that border. The festival joined forces with the International Film Festival Rotterdam for a four-day Amsterdam film festival, with a special focus on The Brothers Quay, animators par excellence, who are known for their short films as well as Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video and De Netherlands Opera’s production of Mazeppa. Following the successful EarFuel concept introduced in 2005, the Holland Festival was pleased to introduce its visual counterpart, EyeFuel. This fringe programme – satellites and comets orbiting the ‘planets’ of our main programme – was both an accessible aftershow and a contemplative moment of repose. Straddling the line between visual art, performance art and a concert, EyeFuel projected a beam of light across the 2006 Festival. And the festival’s opening production couldn’t be more visually enticing: Peter Greenaway’s new look at Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. Music theatre and opera once again featured a wide variety of sensibilities, with works from different eras and various nationalities. The Festival kicked off with an extensive focus on the young Dutch composer Michel van der Aa with his opera After Life, staged at the spectacular Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, a popular festival venue since last year’s official opening. Pierre Audi brought one of his celebrated Drottningholm productions to the Stadsschouwburg: Zoroastre by Jean-Philippe Rameau, marking one of the very first staged productions in the Netherlands of a work by this French Baroque composer since his death some 250 years ago. Following the success of last year’s Lulu and Wozzeck, the Holland Festival welcomed the Hamburgische Staatsoper back with Peter Eötvös’ opera Angels in America, based on Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize winning play. And headlining this year’s Shostakovich centenary celebrations, his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was performed by De Nederlandse Opera. The 2006 Holland Festival dance programme featured familiar faces as well as innovative projects and unique collaborative efforts. These included Sasha Waltz’s new look at Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas with the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Early music also informed Alain Platel’s vsprs, taking its inspiration from Claudio Monteverdi’s Maria Vespers, but with music by jazz saxophonist Fabrizio Cassol. The young Swiss choreographer Michel Casanovas conveyed the story of his Jewish grandfather's deportation in dance and film. And in Zero Degrees we were treated to a unique collaboration between three Europeans with exotic roots: choreographers Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and composer Nitin Sawhney. Once again, the music programme was the festival's mainstay. Carsten Nicolai and Ryuji Sakamoto performed INSEN. Commissioned by the Holland Festival, Kaija Saariaho presented the world premiere of a new work for viola and electronics. There was a cycle of Mozart’s complete piano concertos, with Uri Caine as counterweight; a focus on the instrumental and vocal oeuvre of Sir Harrison Birtwistle; and a mini-festival with three evenings of twentieth-century music's highlights, featuring prominent ensembles from the Netherlands and abroad. A special concert was staged in honour of composer Gyorgy Kurtág's 80th birthday. Russian composer Nikolas Obukhov's ecstatic hysteria and the refreshing madness of Thomas Adès’ Tempest were given free reign at the Concertgebouw. And the melancholy of the Mongolian steppes pervaded the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Feeding back off the festival’s main programme, the EarFuel concerts offered an interwoven pattern of small-scale fringe performances distributed across the various festival venues. In addition, the ancillary programme also included various introductions, context presentations and lectures. The festival was concluded with the organ spectacle SPIRE, brainchild of the trendy British recording label Touch. Held at the Oude Kerk, the music of John Bull, J.S. Bach and Gorecki mixed seamlessly with the LP-player ecstasy of Philip Jeck, Cor Fuller and Fennesz. A great way to crown another successful Holland Festival edition and a fitting finale to a festival which is always looking forward to the future. 

by Michel van der Aa

In One, live singing, sound tape and video images blend into a musicdrama whole.


Contemporary composers Charles Matthews, Marcus Davidson, Fennesz, Philip Jeck, Robert Millner and Cor Fuhler create new work inspired by the organ.

Angels in America
by Peter Eötvös

A gay fantasia on love, AIDS, and the troubles of life.

by Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto

Electro-theraphy: piano play was live edited and projected on a huge and enchanting LED screen.

by Alain Platel

'Platel's dancers are artists in their own right, making boundry-breaking theatre that frightens, elates and touches all at once.' - Financial Times

Amid the Clouds
by Amir Reza Koohestani

The young Iranian director Koohestani brings a harsh reality with a very poignant effect.

by William Shakespeare, Jürgen Gosch

The well-known classic performed in the most bloody way possible.

by Elevator Repair Service

The book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald becomes the performance and vice versa in this nearly seven-hour marathon.

by Drottningholms Slottstheater

In Holland Festival 2006, Zoroastre by Rameau was performed for the first time in The Netherlands.

Artistic Director: Pierre Audi
Credits: Story

Artistic director Holland Festival 2005 - 2014:
Pierre Audi

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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