Holland Festival 2017

70th birtday edition - International Performing Arts Festival Amsterdam

Jonas Kaufmann, Jonas Kaufmann, 2017-06-04, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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INTRODUCTION In 2017, the Holland Festival celebrated its 70th birthday with one of the largest and most successful editions. We invited artists from our rich festival past, in a festival focusing on contemporary issues. 168 performances were staged in 23 days, selling 98,000 tickets. This third edition under artistic director Ruth Mackenzie, continued the tradition of free events and performances that made the festival widely accessible. These free events, such as Opera in the Park in Park Frankendael, and I’d rather be outside on Museumplein attracted at least another 37,000 visitors. The concerts in the Holland Festival Proms had an audience of 6,107. Media partners NTR and VPRO broadcast 4 television programmes about the festival, presented by Daphne Bunskoek. Democracy The 70th edition of the Holland Festival included many festival artists making new work about democracy. We hope it showed that the festival has lost none of its relevance in the seventy years of its existence. The socio-political themes of these performances provoked a lot of debate. The Public Theatre from New York reflected on the way politics influences middle-class lives in its marathon performance The Gabriels, Romeo Castellucci returned to the origins of US democracy in Democracy in America and the National Theatre of Great Britain plumbed the public mood in post-Brexit Britain. Theatre makers Thomas Bellinck and Dieudonné Niangouna examined issues surrounding refugees. The Hague’s Het Nationale Theater presented Eric de Vroedt’s The Nation, the first three instalments of a six-part cycle focusing on tensions within the Dutch multicultural society. The threat of violence and tyranny formed the inspiration for Demolishing Everything With Amazing Speed by US puppeteer Dan Hurlin and the Russian opera Octavia. Trepanation, which made its world premiere at the festival. Actor Cate Blanchett and film director Julian Rosefeldt were responsible for one of the festival’s hits with their imposing video installation Manifesto in Casco Amsterdam, exploring the relationship between art and society. Musical focal points The music programme at the festival included a special focus on contemporary Indonesian music. The concert Ruang Suara featured a new generation of Indonesian composers working with the German Ensemble Modern. Garin Nugroho’s silent film Setan Jawa was accompanied by new commissions played by Rahayu Supanggah Gamelan Garasi Seni Benawa and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. In Paradiso, A Night in Indonesia brought together Indonesian pop, folk, noise and electronic post-folk by artists including Boi Akih, Filastine & Nova, Kande, Senyawa and Jogja Noise Bombing, who also played guerrilla gigs at various spots throughout the city. The Holland Festival Proms included world premieres of Temple of Time by composer Sinta Wullur and the opera installation piece Dark Play by artist Jompet Kuswidananto. The festival also focused on the work of American composer George Crumb. Pianist Margaret Leng Tan performed the European debut of his new piano cycle Metamorphoses, Book 1. The Ragazze Quartet presented Black Angels, Crumb’s famous work for string quartet, in a concert with the same name in which it played a cross-section of Crumb’s oeuvre together with Slagwerk Den Haag and the Ives Ensemble. Another great composer to be featured during this year’s festival was Karlheinz Stockhausen. Lucas and Arthur Jussen gave a glorious rendition of MANTRA, Stockhausen’s mesmerising composition for two pianos Students of the Royal Conservatoire performed ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN from MITT­WOCH aus LICHT. This was a prelude to the marathon performance aus LICHT, to be staged in the 2019 Holland Festival. That joint pro­duction by the Dutch National Opera, the Holland Festival and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague will feature a selection from Stockhausen’s 29-hour opera cycle LICHT. History We invited artists who have shaped the history of the Holland Festival such as: Robert Lepage with 887 in the Stadsschouwburg, a moving look back at his youth; Peter Sellars and Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray brought Flexn, from Brooklyn; Alain Platel with nicht schlafen, a choreography set to music by Mahler. That same theatre saw Ivo van Hove directing Jude Law and Halina Reijn in Obsession, by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. In total, the festival featured three former festival directors - Van Hove, Jan van Vlijmen with a piece in Het weeshuis van het Holland Festival and Pierre Audi directing the opening performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s Marian Vespers, a joint project with Flemish artist Berlinde De Bruyckere and the baroque ensemble Pygmalion led by Raphaël Pichon, hailed by the NRC Handelsblad as ‘at times sublime’. Introductions In the tradition of the Holland Festival history of bringing great singers to Amsterdam, in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Florian Boesch sang with Musicbanda Franui from Austria. Tenor Jonas Kaufmann made his Dutch debut as a soloist in a stunning concert at the Concertgebouw with home-grown soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek. As it does each year, the Holland Festival introduced artists to the Netherlands, such as Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell with his performance Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness. With The Great Tamer Greek artist Dimitris Papaioannou presented a piece of physical theatre of great beauty. Chilean choreographer José Vidal drew a young audience to his Rito de primavera, a self-­created ritual about solidarity and collectivism. Bouchra Khalili made her festival debut with her film The Tempest Society. The Nile Project concluded the Holland Festival Proms with a concert combining musical styles from the countries through which the Nile river flows. The festival also presented Dutch artists: Eric de Vroedt, Lucas and Arthur Jussen, Sinta Wullur and Huba de Graaff. De Graaff created a new musical theatre piece: The Naked Shit Songs, based on an interview by Theo van Gogh with the collaborative art duo Gilbert & George. Dries Verhoeven’s Phobiarama was a hit on Mercatorplein: a combination between an installation and a fairground ride, it was commissioned by the Holland Festival and toured around a number of other festivals in the Netherlands after the festival. Digital art As in previous years, the Holland Festival also commissioned new works for the digital domain, including a special seventh episode was written for The Nation, which could be viewed exclusively using a VR headset. Ruben van Leer created a virtual component for Sacred Environment, Kate Moore’s new composition, which made its world debut during the Holland Festival Proms. A fragment of the concert is now available online as a VR film. The extensive context programme focused on a variety of themes, developments and artists. Digital developments were discussed during Digitalk #3. A range of lectures, debates and other activities were also organised around the themes democracy and music from Indonesia. The learning programme consisted of workshops for professionals and community members (On flex and synthesizer construction). At the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ children made their own horns, which they then used to perform a brand-new composition by Wilbert Bulsink. This workshop was part of the Save the French Horn programme, which also brought leading horn players such as Christine Chapman and Morris Kliphuis to the festival. Former students of the IMC Weekendschool (which ‘brings curious youngsters from disadvantaged communities into contact with professionals’) participated in a workshop related to the performance Flexn, which was a resounding success. This year also saw the second edition of Immerse@HF, an exclusive programme for artists who are at the beginning of an international career. They went to performances, talked to the festival artists and presented their own work to each other. In this review we look back at a successful and festive seventieth edition of the Holland Festival. We look forward to seeing you again in 2018.

FLEXN, Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray, Peter Sellars, 2015-03-25, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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by Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray, Peter Sellars

Virtuoso flex in a moving direction by Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray and Peter Sellars

887, Ex Machina / Robert Lepage, 2015-07-14, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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by Ex Machina / Robert Lepage

‘This is the most intimate show of his career, achieving both a cerebral and an emotional power.' - Telegraph

A l'Ombre des Ondes, Kristoff K. Roll, 2007-06-01, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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À l'Ombre des Ondes
by Kristoff K. Roll

Try out other people's dreams

Holland Festival Proms: Sacred Environment, Kate Moore, Ruben van Leer, 2017-06-24, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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Sacred Environment
by Kate Moore, Ruben van Leer

Mahlerian allure and emotionality’ – de Volkskrant about Kate Moore

Holland Festival Proms: MANTRA, Kalrheinz Stockhausen, 1970-10-18, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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by Karlheinz Stockhausen performed by Lucas & Arthur Jussen

Stockhausen’s hypnotic masterpiece

Octavia. Trepanation, Boris Yukhananov, Dmitri Kourliandski, Stanlislavsky Electrotheatre, 2017-06-15, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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Octavia. Trepanation
by Boris Yukhananov, Dmitri Kourliandski, Stanislavsky Electrotheatre

A spectacular ‘opera-operation’ about tyranny

The Great Tamer, Dimitris Papaioannou, 2017-05-24, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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The Great Tamer
by Dimitris Papaioannou

Stunningly beautiful theatre of movement

I'd rather be outside, åyr, 2017-06-10, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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I'd rather be outside
by åyr

A collective investigates contemporary forms of housing

nicht schlafen, Alain Platel, les ballets C de la B, 2016-09-01, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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nicht schlafen
by Alain Platel, les ballets C de la B

‘Dancing on the fault lines of time’ – De Standaard

Manifesto, Julian Rosefeldt, 2015-12-09, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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by Julian Rosefeldt

Can art change the world?

ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN, Kalrheinz Stockhausen, 1996, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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by Karlheinz Stockhausen performed by students of the Royal Conservatoire

Prelude to the marathon performance of aus LICHT

Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness, Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell, Saint Genet, 2017-05-16, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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Promised Ends: The Slow Arrow of Sorrow and Madness
by Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell, Saint Genet

An extreme performance by a controversial theatre maker

Rito de Primavera, José Vidal, 2014-03-06, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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Rito de Primavera
by José Vidal & Compañía

Setan Jawa, Garin Nugroho, Rahayu Supanggah, Iain Grandage, 2017-02-24, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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Setan Jawa
by Garin Nugroho, Rahayu Supanggah, Iain Grandage

Indonesian Faust in silent film with live music

Opera at the Park: Salome, Richard Strauss, Ivo van Hove, Dutch National Opera, 1905-12-09, From the collection of: Holland Festival
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Opera in the Park: Salome
by Richard Strauss, Ivo van Hove, Dutch National Opera

An eruption of religion, sex and violence live streamed at the park Frankendael

Credits: Story

Artistic director Holland Festival 2016:
Ruth Mackenzie

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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