the art of performing


the art of performing

The performance of music is an art in itself. It is not only the technical playing of an instrument or the technique of singing, but also the attaining of genuine elegance and ensuring that real contact with the audience is established.  In the course of the past decades, the ‘physical theatre coach’ Willy Verkuil has guided generations of singers and instrumentalists in the art of performing.

As homage to the work of Willy Verkuil, OPERA2DAY gave her the opportunity to create a production based entirely on her own material. We invited three instrumentalists, a singer and a composer to follow her workshops over an extended period of time. Verkuil gave them simple exercises and a lot of room for improvisation. This resulted in breath-taking musical and scenic moments, fragile and human, but also unexpectedly funny.  

Amazed, we discovered that when Verkuil’s exercises were performed in an uninterrupted stream, the onlooker almost became enchanted. This is then the basis for our production: a collection of exercises, or ‘Etudes’. The etude is a study piece, but have not some composers displayed their genius through exactly this genre? A production like no other productions, without storyline, almost like a dance. It is as if we reflect on the execution of a performance itself in between our other performances.


The miracle of performing

Director Willy Verkuil talks about this performance and the road that led to it:

“Years ago, I developed the craft of “The Art of Performing”, the aim being to give musicians a better physical awareness thereby giving them the skills to handle their body as a well-tuned instrument. As a performer, the musician can thus present himself better to his audience. He can also then bring his personal instrument (the body) into closer harmony with his musical instrument. 

Musicians are not only heard by their audience, but also seen. They are not actors, but performers. During a series of workshops, we developed material in order to bring the musician (still without instrument) into balance with the music-making musician. Without allowing him to act. This was for all a real challenge.

Everything that one does day in day out, is actually training. Through this training, a musician eventually finds the balance between himself and his musical instrument. During the workshops, the musicians had the opportunity to find with new ways of viewing this craft, to experiment with it and to put their discoveries into practise. Musicians in general are used to short preparation times. It was therefore a big challenge to find musicians who were willing to participate in an experiment that would be a work in progress over a long period of time. The performers that you will see in this production dared.

In the workshops, a format gradually emerged that could serve as the basis for the performance. Along the way, the music also became a part of the process and therefore, of the performance. The visual and musical ingredients blend together and form one entity. They tell no story but leave room for associations.”

"Quality is in the detail, in the moment"
Willy Verkuil


Concept and staging Willy Verkuil

Theorbo, baroque guitar Regina Albanez
Oboe, recorder Robert de Bree
Soprano Camille Hesketh
Baroque cello Nina Hitz
Performer, composition Maya Verlaak

Costumes Joost van Wijmen
Lighting design Paul van Laak
Graphic design auto-public

Trailer Etudes

No current calendar dates found for this production.

Friday 12 Jun 2015 - 21:00 HOUR

MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135, Den Haag

Friday 12 Jun 2015 - 19:00 HOUR

MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135, Den Haag

Thursday 11 Jun 2015 - 21:00 HOUR

MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135, Den Haag

Thursday 11 Jun 2015 - 19:00 HOUR

MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135, Den Haag

Wednesday 10 Jun 2015 - 21:00 HOUR

MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135, Den Haag

Wednesday 10 Jun 2015 - 19:00 HOUR

MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135, Den Haag


Tickets are € 15 and are only available online. Via our playlist you can click on the performance of your choice and will be then guided through our ordering system. 


Performances take place in MOOOF, Binckhorstlaan 135 in The Hague. There is ample free parking in the area around the building. You can access the building via the side entrance.
Doors will be opened 45 minutes before each performance. You are welcome to come early for a drink.

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