ANDERHOOFD Opera Theater Amsterdam

Foto Milette Raats

Opera theater about the sense of madness

‘ANDERHOOFD’ is a performance with and about players living with psychosis. An opera about what it does to you when your reality clashes with the reality around you. About the need to count when you lose your grip on the world around you. About counting in a society that has a problematic relationship with your experience of reality.

photography Milette Raats

ANDERHOOFD premiered on October 7, 2021 in Theater De LaMar and is still going on tour. For more information see Opera Theater Amsterdam.

The personal stories of 14 players, experts in the field of psychosis, are connected with supernatural characters from operas by Henry Purcell and Philip Glass and musically accompanied by the saxophone quartet ARTVARK and the harpist Nick Scholten.

Diffuse and enveloping light

Due to the large number of actors on the small stage and the abstract ecru-white enclosed space, standard theater lighting was not chosen for this project. The light is diffused and envelops the players. The light creates different atmospheres without being very directly present through contrast and direction. In the end, a keylight from the film world was chosen for this. An Arri LED Skypannel c-60 450W supplemented with 5 ETC LED lustr Cycl on the mesh walls.  The possibilities of shifting colour temperature were enormous. From very warm white light 2800 Kelvin till almost 10.000 Kelvin. Also working with colour cast in the lights was a new experience.

photography Wael Quadrieh


Music | Henry Purcell and Philip Glass
Concept, direction, musical direction | Charles Hens
Movement direction | Paul van der Laan
Music performed by | ARTVARK Saxophone Quartet and Nick Scholten (harp)

with | Bruno de Beus, Jantien de Kogel, Jeroen Verkroost, Tess van Brummelen, Anouk Brinkman, Suzanne Heeres, Allan Saheblal, Margriet Bosselaar, Maurice Levano, Thera Hoekstra, Felicia Held, Aart Eertink, Marin Mathijsen, Esther Martinez.

Text & Text Editing | players, Charles Hens, Tom Jaspers
Scenography | Erik Kouwenhoven, Marcel Kranendonk
Light | Isabel Nielen – The Theatermachine
Sound | Arjan van Asselt
Dramaturgy | Emma Berentsen
Directing assistance, production management & podcast | Tom Jaspers
Technique | Guus Broeren