Hendrik Andriessen: The Mirror from Venice (1964)

Preceded by Margreet Dolman, ‘De Rampenvrouw’ (Lady Catastrophes) and Willem Jeths

  • Speigel-campbeeld320
  • Andriessen-Speigel-van-Venetie-Wilma-Driessen-Soprhia-van-Sante
  • SLIDEAndriessen320Portrait
  • September 2017 productie Spiegel van Venetië Haarlem opera
  • Wilma Driessen & Sophia van Sante in De Spiegel van Venetië 1967.
  • Hendrik Andriessen

26-27 september
Stadsschouwburg Haarlem
Wilsonplein 23, 2011 VG Haarlem

Musicziek: Hendrik Andriessen (1891-1981)
Libretto: Hélène Nolthenius (1920-2000)

Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft: Jokke Martens (bt)
Leonora, zijn vrouw, drostin: Lisa Willems (a)
Mr. Dirk Sweelinck, musicus: Erik Slik (t)
Maria Tesselschade: Margaretha Köllner (s)
Francisca Duarte: Kathleen Merken (a)
Roemer Visscher: Sam Eggenhuizen (b)
Clarijn, kamermeisje: Seie Goris (s, 26 sep), Astrid Joos (s, 27 sep)
Floris-Jan, city piper of Amsterdam: Lars Corijn (t)
Holland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Wise. Stage director: Albert Bonnema. Decors: Hugo Moens.

Toegang € 35 / € 32 / € 28 / € 25
Ticketlink: Klik hier voor kaarten.

As part of the Andriessen/De Klerk Festival September/October 2017 the Haarlem Opera and the Royal Conservatory Antwerp are bringing De Spiegel uit Venetië (The Mirror from Venice). Hendrik Andriessen wrote this comedy in one act in the years 1963/1964 for the Dutch National Opera. In 1967 KRO television aired the world premiere of this ‘musical scene’ with Henk Smit (drost P.C. Hooft), Sonja Kurwin (his wife), Arjan Blanken (Dirk Sweelinck), Wilma Driessen (Maria Tesselschade), Sophia van Sante (Maria Duarte), Lieuwe Visser (Roemer Visscher), Germaine Stordiau (Clarijn), Gerard den Dolder (Floris) and Kunstmaand Orchestra Amsterdam conducted by Anton Kersjes. The plot is rooted in the historical Muider Circle at Muider Castle, Muiden, 1630; the telecast was actually filmed at the castle! A later concert performance materialized, but the September 26 and 27 2017 production in Haarlem is the first staged revival of the work since the 1967 broadcast. Stage director is Albert Bonnema, the location the City Theatre Haarlem and the Holland Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Andrew Wise. Soloists are master students and former students of the Royal Conservatory Antwerp.


Hendrik Andriessen: De spiegel van Venetië 'Orchestral introduction'
Kunstmaandorkest Amsterdam - Anton Kersjes, 1967

SpiegelVenetie320The opera is situated within the Muider Circle 1630, which was an artistic circle made up of members of the aristocracy, who would frequently meet at Muider Castle, Muiden. At the heart of the circle were the ‘muses’ Maria Tesselschade and the poet P.C. Hooft. They are very respectable nobles, yet the young composer Dirk Sweelinck (son of Jan Pieterszoon) despises them. To him they are but a bunch of rich snobs. When he was active in Amsterdam they did not wish to know of his mere existence, but now that he became famous in Italy, they all wish to be acquainted with the new star among Dutch composers, himself, Dirk Sweelinck! For better or worse he does visit Muider Castle upon his return, because he has taken it upon him to bring back  a mirror from Venice to drost P.C. Hooft, as a replacement for Hooft’s beloved Venetian mirror that was broken earlier. Planning to teach the noble snobs a lesson, Sweelinck exchanges clothes with the poor troubadour Floris. The latter has an affair with maid Clarijn, who in turn proves to have an open eye for the ‘new Floris’ as well, which induces great jealousy in the real Floris. In her song 'Daar vaart een boot op de Zuiderzee' (A boat sails at the Southerly Sea) Clarijn mocks the wife of P.C. Hooft, who wanted to teach her a lesson in arranging flowers: in Muiden people only know about fish!

Hendrik Andriessen: De spiegel van Venetië 'Daar vaart een boot op de Zuiderzee' (There sails a boat on the Southern Sea)
Germaine Stordiau (Clarijn), Kunstmaandorkest Amsterdam - Anton kersjes, 1967.

Hooft’s wife tries to obtain the mirror from ‘Sweelinck’, but Floris-in-disguise of course doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about.  Through all sorts of comical intrigue  the situation threatens to escalate, in a play that upholds a mirror to the arrogant nobles of the Muider Circle. Finally the poet Roemer Visscher arrives, who immediately recognizes the real Sweelinck. The manner in which Hooft reconciles all present ultimately demonstrates that he is not merely the snob that Sweelinck took him for. And the mirror? That was not just a mirror that Hooft cherished once, but a mirror that revealed people’s own mistakes.

Hendrik Andriessen: De spiegel van Venetië 'Finale 'Tot zingen en tot rijmen'
Henk Smit (drost P.C. Hooft), Sonja Kurwin (zijn vrouw), Arjan Blanken (Dirk Sweelinck), Wilma Driessen (Maria Tesselschade), Sophia van Sante (Maria Duarte), Lieuwe Visser (Roemer Vischer), Germaine Stordiau (Clarijn), Gerard den Dolder (Floris), Kunstmaandorkest Amsterdam o.l.v. Anton Kersjes, 1967.

De muziek

For The Mirror from Venice Hendrik Andriessen composed light music with elements taken from Dutch folk song. The scene has a classic structure with a few songs and semi-parlando scenes and duets. While Philomela was a serious opera incorporating anything from Wagner to Debussy, Fauré, Honegger, Milhaud, Bartók, Pijper and Van Gilse, The Mirror of Venice was far from ambitious in musical terms. A mere five years before his son Louis Andriessen would be part of the revolutionary communist opera Reconstructie, his father took up the tradition of Johan Wagenaar's operas, along with Julius Röntgen's then still well known tragi-comic opera De lachende cavalier and Guillaume Landré's De Snoek. Through Nolthenius libretto Andriessen could not escape the still typical Dutch element in opera to bring things to a moralist conclusion. This is reflected in the mirror that reveals people’s mistakes to those who look into it. Such a theme is of course far less emotionally involving than, say, the death of Mimì or Violetta or the comic plots of Rossini & co revolving around young lovers against dirty old men. Regardless, The mirror of Venice is a special opera for a number of reasons. To begin with it is far lighter in vocal tone than even an operetta or some musicals. And yet it never works operetta- or musical-like. Het (It) sounds more like a post war example of a folk-opera, and the instrumentation unmistakably has Andriessen’s signature. And so the lightweighted character is certainly rooted in the fact that it was intended for a television premiere. Nowadays as well as then one could not expect depth or substance from that medium. On the other hand it was an excellent chance to present the art form of opera to a larger, non-classical music oriented audience. As such The Mirror from Venice now stands as a curiosity that is happily brought back to life by the unexpected Haarlem revival of September 2017..

Runner up: Lady Catastrophes with Margreet Dolman and Willem Jeths

Before the interval Paul Haenen is Margreet Dolman and Lady Catastrophes, accompanied at the piano by composer Willem Jeths. Once Jeths and Haenen had conceived writing an opera titled De Rampenvrouw (Lady Catastophes), with Margreet Dolman in the title role. At the end of the 1980’s, during a theatre tour of Haenen, they actually performed a part of the work. Why was this opera about a lady who causes disaster upon disaster never completed? Jeths and Margreet Dolman discuss this on stage and perform the one part that was composed and played over 25 years ago. Willem Jeths also goes into the heart of the process of writing an opera, such as he did for Reisopera in 2008 with Hôtel de Pékin.

Andriessen/De Klerk Festival

In 2017 it is 150 years ago since Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981) and 100 years since Albert De Klerk (1917-1998) were born in Haarlem. These interesting contemporaries were in various fields of great importance to Dutch music, both as composers and in organ music. With the Festival the Andriessen/De Klerk Foundation aims to broaden the horizon on the output of both composers and the composers around them. The Festival takes place from 15 September until 3 October 2017, in Haarlem. For the programme see: AndriessenDeKlerkFestival2017.

De zangers in de Haarlem 2017 productie

250SLikDutch tenor Erik Slik studied at the Utrecht Conservatory with Henny Diemer and is currently coached by Margreet Honig.  In 2009 he was a finalist in the Cristina Deutekom Concours. He is part of the ensemble of Theater & Philharmonie Thüringen (Germany) where he sang among others Fenton in Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Sinowi in Lady Macbeth by Shostakovich, Camille de Rossillon in Lehár's Die lustige Witwe, Rector Adams in Britten's Peter Grimes en Pylade in Gluck's Iphygenie auf Tauris, as well as parts in musicals such as Chess and Anatevka. With the Dutch National Opera (Amsterdam) he appeared in Lucia Di Lammermoor, Fanciulla dell West, Parsifal and Die Soldaten. With Dutch Reisopera he appeared as Gonzalve in l'Heure Espagnole (Ravel) and as Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart). He worked with such conductors as Hartmut Haenchen, Carlo Rizzi, Kenneth Montgommery, Richard Egarr, Charles Dutoit, Anthony Hermus and Ed Spanjaard. In 2015 he performed the lead part in the world première of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After with Holland Opera, where he also sang Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.  In the fall of 2016 he returned to the Dutch National Opera in Parsifal. He debuted in South-Africa as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. Apart from his work in opera, Slik is an internationally renowned concert singer. On his repertoire are among others Händel’s Messiah, Bach’s Matthäus and Johannes Passion along with more modern works such as Britten’s 'Spring Symphony' and Henze's 'Stimmen'. Since 2014 he is part of Frommermann, a close harmony ensemble in the tradition of the Comedian Harmonists.  In The Mirror of Venice he performs the role of Mr. Dirk Sweelinck. 

250LarsCorijnFrom an early age on, tenor/conductor Lars Corijn (1996) (Floris the troubadour in The mirror from Venice) was singing all day long. What started in solfège-classes at the music schools he attended, moved on to musical productions in the Netherlands and Belgium. When he came to Belgium he started taking voice lessons at the local music academy in Beveren in the class of soprano Ann Engels. Because of her he met some well-known international singers, coaches and teachers. By participating in the Summer Singing Course Beveren he had the chance to learn from Thomas Allen, John Norris, Gary Jankowski, Ann Rodiger, Chris Crans and Abbie Furmansky. In 2014 he started his higher musical education with soprano Stephanie Friede and her two assistents (Liesbeth Devos and Valerie Vervoort) at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. In 2016 he started in the class of bass Gary Jankowski at the same institute. In the same year, Lars came in the Lied-class with Lucienne Van Dyck and Jozef De Beenhouwer. Lars worked with following conductors, coaches and directors: Gary Jankowski, Stephanie Friede, John Norris, Ann Rodiger, Chris Crans, Roger Vignoles, Reinbert De Leeuw, Ivo Venkov, Dirk De Caluwé, Bas Wiegers, Michiel Delanghe, Karel Deseure, Stany Crets, Guy Joosten, Lieven Debrauwer, Liesbeth Devos, Valerie Vervoort, Ann Engels, Patrick Windmolders, An Meeusen,  Frank Agsteribbe, Kiyotaka Izumi, Andrew Wise, Jef Smits, Aäron Wajnberg, Luc Anthonis, Geert Hendrix, Roland Coryn.

250JokkeMArtensFurther with bariton Jokke Martens (Pieter Cornelisz. Hooft), alto Lisa Willems (Hooft’s wife), soprano Margaretha Köllner (Maria Tesselschade), alto Kathleen Merken (Francisca Duarte), baritone Sam Eggenhuizen (Roemer Visscher) and the sopranos Seie Goris (Clarijn, 26 sep) and (spatie) Astrid Joos (Clarijn, 27 sep), Holland Symfonie Orkest conducted by Andrew Wise. Stage director: Albert Bonnema. Decors: Hugo Moens.