Wednesday 31 January 2024

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

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

On Wednesday, January 17, J.S. Bach - The Apocalypse had its premiere at a packed Koninklijke Schouwburg in Den Haag. We performed to a sold-out audience at the Stadsschouwburg Haarlem and Spot Groningen. On Thursday, February 1, we will be performing at the Chasse Theater in Breda. The show will run from Amsterdam to Nijmegen and from Alkmaar to Den Bosch until June 6. Additionally, we will perform the show in the place where it all happened, in Münster (22 May), and we have been invited to play at the renowned Bachfest Leipzig on 10 and 11 June.


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 Leyden. 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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