Dutch National Opera (DNO; formerly De Nederlandse Opera, now De Nationale Opera in Dutch) is a Dutch opera company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its present home base is the Dutch National Opera & Ballet housed in the Stopera building, a modern building designed by Cees Dam and Wilhelm Holzbauer which opened in 1986.
DNO was established shortly after the end of World War II as a repertory company with a permanent ensemble. In the postwar period, it toured extensively in the Netherlands from its home base in the Stadsschouwburg, a fin de siècle theatre on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. In 1964, it was renamed De Nederlandse Operastichting. (The Dutch Opera Foundation), and the company adopted a stagione orientation, inviting different soloists and artistic teams for each new production. In 1986, the company moved to the new Stopera building, which it shares with the Dutch National Ballet, and thereafter became known as De Nederlandse Opera (DNO). In 2014, the company changed its name to De Nationale Opera (Dutch National Opera).
DNO has its own choir of sixty singers and a technical staff of 260. DNO historically has not had its own resident orchestra, and so various orchestras of the Netherlands, including the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO), the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (NKO), the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest and the Asko/Schönberg ensemble have provided the orchestral forces for DNO productions.
DNO produces on average eleven productions per year. While most performances are in the Dutch National Opera & Ballet building, the company has also performed in the Stadsschouwburg, at the Carré Theatre, and on the Westergasfabriek industrial site in Amsterdam. For many years, the June production has been organized as part of the Holland Festival and includes the participation of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. DNO has lent its productions to foreign companies, such as the Metropolitan Opera, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, as well as the Adelaide Festival in Australia.
Hartmut Haenchen was chief conductor from 1986 to 1999, in parallel with holding the title of chief conductor of the NPO. He subsequently held the title of principal guest conductor with DNO. Subsequent chief conductors have been Edo de Waart (1999-2004) and Ingo Metzmacher (2005-2008). In March 2009, DNO announced the appointment of Marc Albrecht as the orchestra's next chief conductor, with the 2011-2012 season, for an initial contract of four years. This return to a single chief conductor at both DNO and the NPO/NKO allows for the NPO to become the principal opera orchestra for DNO. Albrecht is scheduled to stand down as chief conductor of DNO at the end of the 2019-2020 season. In April 2019, DNO announced the appointment of Lorenzo Viotti as its next chief conductor, effective with the 2021-2022 season.
Chief conductors (partial list)
- Hans Vonk (1976–1985)
- Hartmut Haenchen (1986–1999)
- Edo de Waart (1999–2004)
- Ingo Metzmacher (2005–2008)
- Marc Albrecht (2011–present)
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