BWA de grens

Early 2017 my ensemble But What About started this collaboration with Jan-Peter de Graaff with the idea to make a short chamberopera of 25 minutes for the yearly opera route Salone dell’opera. The resulting 25-minute chamber opera De Grens premiered in Vught on April 22nd 2017 and was met with spectacularly enthusiastic responses. The entire cast & crew of this chamber opera agreed that this project was so special – and the suspense with regard to Kaiser Wilhelm’s fate so unbearable – that a second scene will be created, making a full-length performance of De Grens that will last 50 minutes.

About de Grens:

De Grens
The year is 1918: The Great War is nearing its end. The German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, arrives at the Dutch border as an exile from his own country, seeking asylum in the Netherlands. However, the Dutch government was not notified in advance of the Kaiser’s arrival and takes its time to decide whether the royal visitor is welcome or not. Pending the government’s decision, the Kaiser (mezzo-soprano Eva Kroon) is stuck at the railway station of Eijsden, a small town at the southern border of the Netherlands. At the station, he meets the station manager (soprano Ginette Puylaert), a man whose character, lineage and political views are in complete dissonance with that of Kaiser Wilhelm. The two gentlemen have a fiery discussion, but despite all the differences they have one thing in
common: a total lack of control over their own situation. Further information you can find by clicking here.

Cast & crew

music:  Jan-Peter de Graaff
libretto: Yuri Robbers
director: Saskia Bonarius
film and images: Caroline Keman
Kaiser Wilhelm II: Eva Kroon (mezzo-soprano)
station manager: Ginette Puylaert (soprano)
bass clarinet: Vincent Martig
accordion: Wilco Oomkes
percussion: Antonio Pierna García
double bass: Julián Sarmiento Escobar
featuring on violin: Pieter van Loenen