Philip Venables

5 stars for Denis & Katya in Amsterdam

15 March 2022 - Uncategorised

The Dutch premiere of Denis & Katya took place on Friday at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, as part of the Opera Forward Festival. It was performed by Inna Demenkova and Michael Wilmering, with cellists of the Residentie Orkest The Hague. Here is a selection of excerpts of press reviews for the production (machine translated), including a five-star review in Dutch newspaper, Trouw.

“All this comes together ingeniously in a great contemporary chamber opera, which is as oppressive as it is impressive… Wilmering and Demenkova were chillingly ‘real’ in their increasingly desperate contributions. They both sang the catchy music with great empathy and with robust voices. It is a top production.” — Trouw (5 stars)

“Denis & Katya stimulates thinking: about opera and about social media and its impact…. Opera cannot get much more topical.” — NRC Handelsblad (4 stars)

“Huffman and Venables very sensitively refuse any illustration of what is happening. They tell instead of show. The two actors, Michael Wilmering and Inna Demenkova, constantly change roles at an epic pace. The music of four cellists does no more than portray the emotional situations or to imitate the typing of text messages with beeps. The piece is as accessible as it is shocking. The result is a kind of “Peter and the Wolf” for teenage online natives.” — Frankfurter Allgemeine

“The rapid alternation of music, solo singing, written and spoken text, live and electronically produced make the disturbing events and their tragic climax an emotionally comprehensible, gripping media event…. the audience’s attention is constantly challenged for over an hour. Only after the prolonged applause at the end of a fortunately above-average young audience is there an opportunity to emotionally process the almost unbelievable, but easily understandable plot in every phase of escalation. Can opera really be that topical?” — Bachtrack (4 stars)

(Photos by Milagro Elstak for Dutch National Opera)

› tags: 2021/22 Season / Andrew Lieberman / Denis & Katya / Dutch National Opera / Inna Demenkova / Michael Wilmering / Opera & Music Theatre / Opera Forward Festival / Pierre Martin Oriol / Press / Reviews / Simon Hendry / Ted Huffman / Tim Anderson /