Michel van der Aa


August 2012

'After Life' to open 2012 Melbourne Festival

After LifeYvette Bonner, Roderick Williams

The prestigious Melbourne International Arts Festival will open on 11 October 2012 with Michel van der Aa’s first full-length opera After Life.

Original cast members Roderick Williams (Aiden), Richard Suart (Mr. Walter), Helena Rasker (Bryna), and Yvette Bonner (Sarah) and Margriet van Reisen (Ilana) will be flying to Melbourne, alongside Yannick Muriel Noah as Chief. Wouter Padberg will conduct the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in three semi-staged performances on 11, 12 and 13 October at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre.

Adapted from the film of the same name by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, ‘After Life’ presents a group of characters who are about to trade their earthly existence for perpetuity in heaven. They are allowed to relive a key moment in their life one last time in the form of a film, which they will take with them into eternity.

“Van der Aa, stage director and mastermind as well as composer, pushes the boundaries of all of his media. This is the Gesamtkunst of the future.” (Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times)

This will be the opera’s third revival, following its premiere at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam that opened the 2006 Holland Festival, and revised productions at Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, Opéra de Lyon and the Barbican, London in the 2009–10 season.

For more details, please visit the Melbourne Festival website


Michel van der Aa (Netherlands, 1970) is a truly multidisciplinary figure in contemporary music. A unique voice, he combines composition with film and stage direction, and script writing. Classical instruments, voices, electronic sound, actors, theatre and video are all seamless extensions of his musical vocabulary.

upcoming performances

  • 13 August 2017
    Blank Out (Swiss premiere)
    Miah Persson, soprano
    Roderick Williams (film), Nederlands Kamerkoor (film)
    Lucerne Festival
    4pm, KKL, Lucerne, Switzerland
  • 13 August 2017
    The Book of Disquiet (Swiss premiere)
    Walter Sigi Arnold, actor
    Ensemble of the Lucerne Festival Alumni
    11am, Luzerner Theater, Lucerne, Switzerland
  • 17 August 2017
    Up-close (Swiss premiere)
    Chamber Orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy
    Jay Campbell, cello
    18.20 hrs, Luzerner Saal/KKL, Lucerne, Switzerland



  • New arrival; 4U Clouds. Made by @loudestwarning ❤️👾 New arrival; 4U Clouds. Made by @loudestwarning ❤️👾


  • the thing with playing guitar through an epic looping delay is that the fuckups also haunt you for ever 05 July 2017
  • and here am I covering Klaus Maria Brandauer in paper boats https://t.co/WarKXl6POv 04 July 2017
  • preparing "The Book of Disquiet" for Lucerne Festival. Came across these 'making of’ photos.… https://t.co/f16zqUmda9 04 July 2017

recent video


upclose TNSol Gabetta, cello. Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Candida Thompson
31:11 min.

recent audio


Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 23 July 2017