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Composer of the month

401DutchOperas Anthology I

BookCover174The first part of the 401DutchOperas Anthology covers the period from Sweelinck (1595) to the French Period 1814. The book will be published in 2023 by the Dato Fund in collaboration with the Netherlands Music Institute Foundation. Included are opera composers such as Vondel/Padbrué, Huygens and the Amsterdam Liedschool composers 1687-1715: Hacquart/Buysero, Petersen, Anders and Schenck. In the first half of the 18th century also Van Blankenburg, De Fesch and Zingoni. From the period of Stadtholder William V: Jacob Jan van Wassenaer Obdam, Josina van Boetzelaer, Gottfried van Swieten, Belle van Zuylen, Colizzi, JMeissner, Just, the Mulligen brothers, and Mozart in The Hague. In the French Period: Bartholomeus Ruloffs, Jean des Communes and Ludwig van Beethoven, of whom the story is examined that he was born in Zutphen. A biographical sketch is given for each composer, followed by the plot summaries of those operas by his or her hand of which music survived. These plots are followed by a discussion of the work and a discography. The CDs in and around the book contain highlights from almost all the works discussed.

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Opera of the month


VestasMaandBanner72In June 2022, 401 Dutch Operas presented a try-out (with reduced orchestra) of the torso of Beethoven's first opera, Vestas Feuer, as reconstructed by Cees Nieuwenhuizen. Vestas Feuer was composed in 1803 on a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, librettist of Die Zauberflöte! It is an exciting adventure story full of miraculous escapes and with outstanding music. Including two world premieres of completely unknown Beethoven opera arias that Nieuwenhuizen reconstructed for us from the never before examined sketches for scenes 2 to 8. We are now looking into possibilities to have a staged world-premiere with full orchestra.

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342 years of Dutch operas

342JaarOf the more than 400 operas composed in The Netherlands in the span of 342 years, not a single one has managed to enter even the local repertoire. Among those forgotten operas are the first Dutch baroque operas, mostly in the French style of Lully's Versailles, opéra comiques after Grétry, grand opéras after Auber and Meyerbeer, along with full blooded romantic operas in the style of Verdi or Wagner.


STIJLThis website will in time attempt to answer the question if there is 'a Dutch style'. As surprising as it may sound to those coming from countries with a living opera tradition, this is an open question in The Netherlands. The reason: from those operas composed before 1945, there is hardly a single note available in terms of recordings. Scores are partly lost or survive only fragementary, others have to be deciphered from obscure handwritings.


Scene from Peter-Jan Wageman's opera Legende (Legend)(© 2011 DNO-Marco Borgggreve)Our aim is to restore the history of Dutch Operas. Since none of these operas are currently known, we use as much audio visual material as possible, to bring Dutch Operas back to life. The success of our aim is determined by the accessibility of these operas.

401DutchOperas should surprise, and make one curious after these works, their composers and their artistic environment. Only in that way can we hope to achieve our ultimate goal: the revival of Dutch operatic tradition!


Accent401DutchOperas is now initiating a book that will include all ca. 250 major Dutch operas composed with extensive plot summarys and musical descriptions. Their composers will be introduced, the genesis and performance history of their works shall be examined, along with a stylistic analyses and an introduction to the highlights of those scores.

An introductory chapter will provide a summary of the history of Dutch opera from its beginnings until its present state of affairs. This should include a survey of the rise and fall of The Netherlands' many opera companies since the 1680s.

Volunteers/ stagiaires

Hanslick401DutchDivas.com is looking for volunteers / stagiaires that would like to contribute to the expansion of this website by means of adding new biographies and/ or editing biographies / discographies etcetera. You can apply through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .