A Triumphant Première: The Dawn of “Nachtlicht”

A Triumphant Première: The Dawn of “Nachtlicht”


On January 13, 2024, the world witnessed the successful première of “Nachtlicht,” an opera that brings a fresh perspective to contemporary classical music. Composed by Dutch composer Zoran Rosendahl, this captivating work showcases the dedication and creativity that opera continues to inspire. With an original libretto by Sanne Schuhmacher, “Nachtlicht” aims to reach a new audience, making the grandeur of opera accessible to those who have yet to experience its magic.

Commissioned by Wenk Producties, this opera is designed to be approachable. Its music is both lyrical and full of romantic passion, capturing deep human emotions with a blend of intensity and melancholy. The story follows a wife’s emotional journey as she grapples with the tragic loss of her husband, told through evocative music and powerful lyrics.

The première featured outstanding performances by Judith Weusten and Erik Slik. Judith Weusten’s sweet and lyrical voice added an ethereal quality to the music, while Erik Slik’s intense and emotional performance brought depth to his role. Their voices intertwined beautifully, creating a memorable and moving experience for the audience.

The Gelders Fanfare Orkest, under the musical direction of Erik van de Kolk, provided a superb accompaniment, enhancing the opera’s emotional impact. Their music was not just background but a crucial part of the story, painting a vivid picture of loss and longing that resonated with the audience.

The beautiful staging, directed by Céline Hoex, added another layer of depth to the performance. Her visionary direction brought the narrative to life with stunning visual elements that perfectly complemented the musical and emotional tones of the opera.

“Nachtlicht” is a one-act opera that, despite its short length, leaves a lasting impression. The adventurous and evocative music transitions seamlessly through scenes of romantic fervor and desolate emptiness, capturing the full spectrum of grief. This powerful blend of music and narrative makes the opera accessible to new audiences, showcasing the beauty and complexity of classical music in a way that is easy to appreciate.

Looking ahead, “Nachtlicht” is set to continue its journey with numerous performances planned for later this year and into 2025. Each performance will reinforce its status as a modern classic, bridging the past and present and speaking to the timeless human experience through the universal language of music.

In conclusion, the première of “Nachtlicht” marks an important moment in contemporary opera. It highlights the artistic collaboration between composer Zoran Rosendahl, librettist Sanne Schuhmacher, director Céline Hoex, and the performers, and demonstrates the enduring appeal of opera. As “Nachtlicht” continues to light up stages, it will inspire a new generation of opera lovers and solidify its place in the world of great one-act operas.

Foto by © Grycko Films