Bonsai Garden by De Graaff

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‘Bonsai Garden’ by the Dutch composer Jan-Peter de Graaff are eight mini-opera’s grown in quarantaine.
Human creativity and the need for expression cannot be locked up! Opera Zuid premiered a new living room opera every week until the end of the season. The young composer Jan-Peter de Graaff – maker of the chamber opera “De Grens” – created by Opera Zuid – and opera director Kenza Koutchoukali joined forces to release a new miniature opera online every week. For Jan-Peter de Graaff, a bonsai tree symbolizes this project: bonsai trees are grown meticulously and with great attention to detail in an enclosed environment. This method is a parallel of the development process of these mini-operas. The intimate and honest snapshots in their own way give a voice to our shared reality…   

Composer Jan-Peter de Graaff, raised on Terschelling, has been composing since the age of 15. He graduated from The Hague Conservatory in 2016 with the opera “All Rise!” and in 2018 won the Rostrum Prize for composers under 30 for the orchestral work “Le café de nuit“. Since then he has been a much sought-after composer at home and abroad. His music is transparent, richly orchestrated, melodic, direct and always cast in a clear form. Theatrical, dramatic and non-musical elements often play a role in his compositions.

Director Kenza Koutchoukali grew up between her father’s blues and her mother’s Baroque. When she first directed a new composition by Jan-Peter de Graaff in 2016, the world of contemporary music opened up to her. Under her direction, Kenza searches for “the fantastic dimension of reality”: words she would have thought of herself, but read in a book by photographer Jean-Claude Gautrand.

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Bonsai Garden is produced by Stichting Leonore and Opera Zuid.

This project is part of the digital program of Opera Zuid Online