Dutch premiere

Innocence by Saariaho

  • October 07 | 8:00 p.m.
  • October 10 | 8:00 p.m.
  • October 13 | 8:00 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 | 8 p.m.
  • October 19 | 8:00 p.m.
  • October 22 | 14:00
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Saturday 7 October -
Sunday 22 October
National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam
From €24

The new opera Innocence tells a poignant story of guilt, forgiveness and the lifelong effects of trauma. The Dutch National Opera presents the latest work by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, one of the most performed contemporary composers worldwide. The text was written by best-selling Finnish author Sofi Oksanen.

The Story
An international school is shaken by a shooting. Ten years later, the shooter's younger brother is getting married, hoping to put the tragedy behind him for good. But the wedding turns into a confrontation with the past. Deeply buried trauma surfaces in all involved, and the line between victim and perpetrator becomes increasingly blurred.

Innocence had its world premiere at the 2021 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, receiving rave reviews. It explores the far-reaching consequences of gun violence with the power of a psychological thriller, with Kaija Saariaho infusing her music with raw realism more than ever.

Image: © Marta Syrko

The Creators
Australian theatre, film and opera director Simon Stone, who dazzled the Netherlands with his theatre productions for the Holland Festival and ITA (Flight 49, Medea and Ibsen House), will make his debut at the Dutch National Opera with his direction of Saariaho's latest work. After Émilie (2010) and Only the Sound Remains (2016), Innocence is the third opera by Saariaho to be performed at the Dutch National Opera.

Swiss-Australian conductor Elena Schwarz, an ardent advocate of new music, will make her debut at the Dutch National Opera with Innocence. With Dutch singers Lilian Farahani, Lenneke Ruiten, Frederik Bergman and Thomas Oliemans, four audience favourites will return to its stage.