O. Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre. takes place in various locations across Rotterdam – from the city centre to Waalhaven and De Esch. It runs from Wednesday May 17 through Saturday May 27, 2023. There will be 10 full festival days in 2023 plus an extra First Night. This opening night sees the premiere of ‘AfrOpera’ The Golden Stool, or the story of Nana Yaa Asantewaa by Gorges Ocloo, LOD muziektheater and Toneelhuis. Subsequently, there will be pop-ups and sneak peeks of productions that are part of the O. programme in the Theater Rotterdam building. On Ascension Day (Thursday 18 May – a public holiday), Schouwburgplein and its surroundings are dedicated to Dit is Rotterdam, O.’s free city programme that brings together Rotterdam stories, communities and artists.
“This is an amazing edition featuring international top projects and extraordinary productions in hidden locations. Experience exciting performances and musical encounters. Be the first to view work in progress as well as world premieres. Immerse yourself fully in O. as never before.” – artistic director Guy Coolen about O. 2023
prisoner of the state is a musical spectacle by Pulitzer Prize Winner David Lang (US) that O. brings to the Netherlands. This modern classic is an arrangement of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio that can be seen exclusively at O. in concert venue De Doelen. Another international top production hits the stage in Theater Rotterdam. A mesmerizing award-winning dance opera, t u m u l u s was created by François Chaignaud and Geoffroy Jourdain (FR).
The festival stages opera and music theatre in special locations all over Rotterdam. For instance, the walking performance Solitude Hotel by Annelinde Bruijs and Suze Milius, which takes visitors to various hotel rooms and to the guests who are staying there. The performance VACUÜM takes place in a drinking water cistern where theatre maker Mees Vervuurt has shaped a mysterious subterranean world. A trucker café is the setting for Frau Bakker’s new performance. Grande Loge’s Fit 4 Filantropia unfolds in a gym.
The Rotterdam collective Club Gewalt celebrates its 10 year anniversary over four days with 10 Year Anniversary, a civilised sit-down birthday ‘party’ that gets out of hand –and then some. At Club O., the festival continues into the night with DJs and exciting live performances by Meirhaeghe x Sigurdsson feat. Klinck, and others.
The theatre maker Steef de Jong is supported by the Dutch A-listers Brigitte Kaandorp and Alex Klaasen plus a 70-piece symphony orchestra in their ‘cabaret opera’ Steefs O. Show, which returns for three nights in the old Luxor Theater due to its overwhelming success in 2022.
O. also features numerous (Dutch) premieres, including Farbrice Murgia & Peggy Lee Cooper (BE), Kula Skoro & Asopropo (SR), Flip Noorman & ‘De Moordmannen’ (NL), DESCHONECOMPANIE & Muziektheater Transparant (BE), Tangram (UK), and new (co)productions in partnership with Theater Zuidplein, BRUTUS, Altstadt, Roodkapje, Theater Walhalla, and others.
The full programme can be found on the website.
O. gebruikt haar stad als podium en decor. Veel voorstellingen zijn op onalledaagse en onontdekte locaties in de stad: pleinen, woonkamers, kerken, een oude wasserij, winkel, bovenop de Bijenkorf en zelfs een fitnesscentrum.