Opera Melancholica

welcome to the anatomical theatre of the human mind

Opera Melancholica

Opera Melancholica premiered on 27 January 2020 at the Royal Theatre of The Hague.

OPERA2DAY and the New European Ensemble welcomed the audience to the anatomical theatre of the human mind. Through cinematic minimal music by composer Philip Glass and a story by Edgar Allan Poe, OPERA2DAY presented fantastic visions and horrifying delusions live at the theatre, boosted by a choreography by Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. The production focused on the Dutch première of Glass's compelling opera in two acts 'The Fall of the House of Usher', with a libretto by Arthur Yorinks based on Poe's story. The piece portrays the melancholiac pur sang Roderick Usher and his twin sister Madeline, who in this production is rendered by both a soprano and a female dancer. With Opera Melancholica, we immersed the spectators in Usher's melancholia and showed them all corners of the human mind.

In Opera Melancholica, thematic lines from previous OPERA2DAY productions came together. Hamlet (2018) was a psychological thriller. Dolhuys Kermis ('Madhouse Fair', 2013) brought a psychiatric institution to life on location, one of the five best performances of that year according to leading Dutch newspaper NRC. We already crossed the line of the unconscious, then unconsciously frivolous, in Dr. Miracle's last illusion (2017), according to the critic of the Volkskrant 'artistic fusion of a high level'.

Press quotes

“With this production, OPERA2DAY adds yet another success to an already impressive list” (Opera Magazine), “Philip Glass through psycho-analytical glasses” (NRC), “Extraordinarily beautiful” (Theaterkrant) and “Seductively morbid” (Opera Today).

The NRC wrote about the music: "Musically remarkable: unlike the loose tableaux in Philip Glass's revolutionary anti-opera 'Einstein on the Beach' (1976), his minimalistic notes in Usher serve a dramatic course. The music [... ] navigates effectively between driving pulsating tuttis and intimate chamber musical vistas." The Volkskrant about the singers: “Santiago Burgi (Roderick) and Drew Santini (William) sing excellently, but even more beautiful is the invisible and wordlessly sung contribution of soprano Lucie Chartin as Madeline."

The concept of the 'anatomical theatre of the psyche' provoked interesting reactions. Theaterkrant noted that "What you see on stage, if you are open to it, can very well lead to a confrontation with yourself and your own struggle to balance feeling and thinking." One of the spectators also stated this effect in an email: "I have rarely felt so fulfilled, I would almost say 'comforted', when leaving the theatre. A lecture for everyone who is professionally involved in whatever way in the psyche of his fellow man and its naked truth." And a wonderful compliment from Opus Klassiek: "Does perfection exist in theater? Until a few days ago I would have answered that question with a resounding 'no', but after seeing Opera Melancholica I'm not so sure anymore. Furthermore, this doubt was not raised by a company with a million-dollar budget, but by The Hague-based Opera2Day, a small company in opera country, but one with large ambitions. With Opera Melancholica, Opera2Day puts a shining jewel in their crown."

The collaboration with New European Ensemble and Scapino Ballet Rotterdam was praised throughout. About the silent role of dancer Ellen Landa as Madeline Opera Today (US) wrote: "The twitchy, obsessively repetitious choreography by Ed Wubbe of Scapino Ballet captured the seductiveness of the mad and the morbid. Snaking across the dirty water, her wet robe dragging behind her, Landa was a horrific and fascinating apparition." Theaterkrant noted that Ellen Landa portrayed a "beautiful, languishing, almost ethereal Madeline". The New European Ensemble and the conductor received compliments from France: "Les douze instrumentistes du New European Ensemble sont dirigés avec rigueur et enthousiasme par Carlo Boccadoro, grand défenseur du répertoire contemporain." 

We finish proudly with WeHague's Instagram post: "What a great, intense, cool performance! How so is opera not for young people? @Opera2Day makes opera accessible and we fully recommend this Opera Melancholica to everyone!"

With great pleasure, we would like to welcome you to the Anatomical Theater of the Psyche. Here we trepan skulls and we can take a look at the human mind in real time. Your host is the medical director of our anatomical-psychological institute. First, he will explain the methods used in his anatomical theatre. Then we're going to see it in full operation.

Our ability to look around the human psyche is due to what is known as 'folie à deux'. If you are locked up in a room with someone who suffers from psychosis for a long time, you will start to see what he sees. Tonight we lock ourselves up with a patient in a much larger group. The 'folie à mille' will be our method. Collectively, we are going to hear what the patient hears, and see what he sees. We will experience his sensations and thoughts in a lifelike manner.

Today, melancholy is the subject of our research. To show the effect and consequences of melancholy, the medical director presents the case of Roderick Usher. Usher is a very lonely man. He has sunk into melancholy and is vexed by circling thoughts that never stop. He lives, as it were, in his head and doesn't know how to deal with his feelings, which he tries to suppress. However, these feelings continue to demand attention. So much, that they have become a voice in his head - a voice which he calls his sister. Usher tries to free himself from this inner voice, thus suppressing his feelings. But every time he succeeds, he realizes that his world has become cold and empty. Part of his self has died. It is a loss that also prompts a kind of mourning. That is his melancholy.

Our medical director will introduce you to the methods developed in his institute and the phases that patients go through in the anatomical theatre. Not only do we want to gain insights by looking into other people's minds. We also want to help the patient within the anatomical-psychological session. We hope that Usher manages to free himself from his melancholy and inner disharmony. We hope that he can find the open-mindedness that he was able to experience as a child. And we hope that you as a spectator will also come into better contact with the melancholy in yourself.


CONDUCTOR Carlo Boccadoro
CHOREOGRAPHY Ed Wubbe (Scapino Ballet Rotterdam)
LIGHTING Uri Rapaport
COSTUMES Mirjam Pater



RODERICK Santiago Burgi / Georgi Sztojanov
WILLIAM Drew Santini 
MADELINE (voice) Lucie Chartin / Emma Fekete
MADELINE (dance) Ellen Landa / Dora Stepucin (Scapino Ballet Rotterdam)
PHYSICIAN Georgi Sztojanov / Rolfe Dauz

Trailer Opera Melancholica


Teaser Opera Melancholica

No current calendar dates found for this production.

Thursday 19 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Wednesday 18 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Monday 16 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Theater aan de Parade, Den Bosch

Addres: Parade 23
City: 5211 KL Den Bosch
Phone: 0900 - 3372723

Saturday 14 Mar 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

Schouwburg Kunstmin, Dordrecht

Addres: Sint Jorisweg 76
City: 3311 PL Dordrecht
Phone: 078 639 79 79

Friday 13 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

De Goudse Schouwburg, Gouda

Addres: Boelekade 67
City: 2806 AE Gouda
Phone: 0182 - 513 750

Wednesday 11 Mar 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

Stadstheater Arnhem, Arnhem

Addres: Velperbinnensingel 10
City: 6811 BP Arnhem
Phone: 026 - 443 73 43

Tuesday 10 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Theater Kerkrade, Kerkrade

Addres: Theaterplein 30
City: 6461 DR Kerkrade
Phone: 045-571 66 07

Friday 06 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

30CC, Leuven (BE)

Addres: Bondgenotenlaan 21
City: 3000 Leuven (BE)
Phone: 016 300 900

Wednesday 04 Mar 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht

Addres: Lucasbolwerk 24
City: 3512 EJ Utrecht
Phone: 030-23 02 023

Tuesday 03 Mar 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

Theater Rotterdam (Schouwburg), Rotterdam

Addres: Schouwburgplein 25
City: 3012 CL Rotterdam
Phone: 010 - 40 44 111

Saturday 29 Feb 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

Theaters Tilburg, Tilburg

Addres: Louis Bouwmeesterplein 1
City: 5038 TN Tilburg
Phone: 013 543 22 20

Friday 28 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Parktheater, Eindhoven


Addres: Elzentlaan 50
City: 5615 CN Eindhoven
Phone: 040 - 2111122

Wednesday 26 Feb 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

TAQA Theater De Vest, Alkmaar

Addres: Canadaplein 2
City: 1811 KE Alkmaar
Phone: 072-5489999

Tuesday 25 Feb 2020 - 19:30 HOUR

SPOT Groningen (Stadsschouwburg), Groningen

Addres: Turfsingel 86
City: 9711 VX Groningen
Phone: 050-3680368

Wednesday 19 Feb 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

Flint, Amersfoort

Addres: Coninckstraat 60
City: 3811 WK Amersfoort
Phone: 033 4229 229

Tuesday 18 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam

Koninklijk Theater Carré

Addres: Amstel 115-125
City: 1018 EM Amsterdam
Phone: 0900 - 25 25 255 (€ 0,45 p/m)

Saturday 15 Feb 2020 - 20:15 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg Haarlem, Haarlem

Addres: Wilsonsplein 23
City: 2011 VG Haarlem
Phone: 023 - 512 12 12 (keuze 1)

Thursday 13 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Wednesday 12 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Saturday 08 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Deventer Schouwburg, Deventer

Deventer Schouwburg

Addres: Leeuwenbrug 2
City: 7411 TJ Deventer
Phone: 0900 3000 200

Wednesday 05 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

De Lawei, Drachten

Addres: Laweiplein 1
City: 9203 KL Drachten
Phone: (0512) 33 50 50

Tuesday 04 Feb 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg Nijmegen, Nijmegen

Addres: Keizer Karelplein 32h
City: 6511 NH Nijmegen
Phone: 024-3221100

Wednesday 29 Jan 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Tuesday 28 Jan 2020 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Sunday 19 Jan 2020 - 15:00 HOUR

Theater aan de Schie, Schiedam

Addres: Stadserf 1
City: 3112 DZ Schiedam
Phone: 010-2467467

Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, without intermission

Sung in English and supertitled in Dutch and English

27 January 2020 in The Hague, the Netherlands







  • '

    What an intense cool performance. What do you mean, opera is not for young people?

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