This website was founded by opera journalist and philosopher René Seghers in support of Dutch and Flemish opera composers. Eventually we will provide detailed portraits of all Dutch and Flemish opera composers, including audiovisual documentation (photographs and audio and video recordings of highlights of these operas. Our aim is to revive those works for an international audience (70% of our visitors is from outside the Netherlands, 50% from outside Europe)

Opera/composer of the Month

Every once in  while we aim to focus on a specific composer and opera. The focus will be on operas that are being revived either by ourself in 401DutchOpera concerts that started on April 26, 2015, or on revivals and world premieres by other opera companies. 

Renaissance of Dutch and Flemish operas

The ultimate goal of is  to spark a renaissance of Dutch and Flemish operatic heritage by means of an antholgy that features highlights of 401 years of Dutch and Flemish opera, in addition to which we will continue to organize concerts with highlights of this forgotten repertoire. These will subsequently be published by ourselves on cd, dvd and in downloads.

Renaissance of Dutch and Flemish vocal culture

A logical result of this ambition is a subsequent renaissance of Dutch and flemish vocal culture, since the Dutch language parts are of course impossible to cast with non Dutch/Flemish singers. For our first concert we engaged Flemish soprano Jolien De Gendt and tenor Denzil Delaere. Currently we are working with heldentenor Hendrik Vonk, sopranos Johannette Zomer, Barbara Schilstra and Julia Bronkhorst, mezzo soprano Barbara Kozelj and musicians such as pianists Wolter Willemsen, Jan ten Bokum, Pieter Dhoore and René Rakier, harpsichord player/conductor Albert Jan Roelofs, violinists Rémy Baudet, Ann Vancoillie and Anna Hiemstra, cello player Jeroen den Herder, organ player Frank van Wijk, and hoboist Martin Stadler. With the modern time premiere of Karel Miry's 1830's opera Charles Quint in Gent, Belgium, we started producing our own opera recordings as audio and video downloads. Charles Quint was followed by our own recordings of Miry's Bouchard d'Avesnes and Wagnenaar's De Schipbreuk (The Schipwreck). Since then we started the 401Concerts series with our own production of Dutch opera highlights. 401DutchOperas is currently organizing a Jan Brandt's Buys Festival in Zutphen (21-23 September 2018) and a Dutch Court Opera The Hague Concert 1751-1790 in The Hague. In addition we started a recording project zooming in on over 50 Dutch heldentenor repertoire excerpts (including duets, trios, preludes/intermezzos, dramatic soprano arias choral excerpts).

Handbook on Dutch operas

The 401DutchOperas foundation and author René Seghers working on the anthology in book format of 401DutchOperas, which will feature a plenitudde of plot synopsises and stylistic characterizations ofthe operas concerned, along with informationon the composers. Surprisingly, more than 400 Dutch operas have been composed since Carolus Hacquarts & Dirk Buysero’s De triomferende min from 1680, which explain the title of the book and website: 401DutchOperas!

Names, titles, world premeres and where traceable also premiere casts and peformance histry will be included. The best 200+ titles will be selected for inclusion in the main text of the anthology.

Digitalsing scores

The 401DutchOperas foundation is working on a plan to digitalize all scores of Dutch and Flemish operas that survived destruction over the centuries, where fires and other resons have caused great losses.

The Challenge

The challenge that we face is easily sketched: digitalizing the entire  Dutch opera lagacy alone encompasses a full 2,5 years of scanning. Whereas some people might be discouraged by this, Seghers argues that, with enough support, 401DutchOperas can save the entire Dutch operatic heritage in ONLY 2,5 years! A piece of cake...

Bas ten Have
Lilian van de Zande
René Seghers