Wednesday 28 February 2024

Audiences are enthusiastic about J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse

Audiences are enthusiastic about J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse

On Wednesday 17 January, J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse had its premiere in a packed Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague. The tour, now in full swing, is also drawing full houses, and audiences are responding enthusiastically. Performances this week in Amersfoort, Gouda, Tilburg and Amsterdam will be followed by a short stop. In mid-May, the tour continues with performances in The Hague, Alkmaar and Den Bosch. The performance can also be seen this spring in Münster and during the renowned Bachfest in Leipzig.


After the enthusiastic reviews from the press who attended the premiere two years ago during the pandemic, the audience is also responding positively. Comments such as 'A beautiful evening! I was deeply moved many times!' and '...shining with joy and dedication... Bravo and my deep bow...' are just a few of the positive audience reactions to the performance. 82% of the audience gave the show five stars.

One of the most touching responses was from a 12-year-old daughter of an attendee. She found the performance amazing and asked when she could go to the opera again: 'My friend and her 12-year-old daughter were in the audience yesterday, it was the kid's first-ever opera, and she loved it and is asking when they can go again.'


The opera tells the true story of Jan van Leiden. This actor, pub landlord and tailor became leader of a movement in the 16th century that proclaimed that the world would fall. A salvation state was established. This radicalised and became a dictatorship. We follow John from his initial enthusiasm, through his equally flamboyant and ruthless reign to his final confession on death row. We thus experience from the inside how the timeless mechanisms of populism, polarisation and radicalisation do their work.


With gripping, overwhelming and emotional music by Bach, the story comes to life. Scenarist and director Serge van Veggel, together with librettist Thomas Höft and baroque specialist and modern composer Panos Iliopoulos, turned the work into a true through-composed opera. Thanks to a compelling and grandiose staging, an outstanding cast and the choir and orchestra of the Nederlandse Bachvereniging conducted by Hernán Schvartzman, Bach will be heard and seen as never before.

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    The company has created a 21st century recipe for opera that could almost certainly not have been imagined in any other era

  • Opera Now
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