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

  • 19 April 2017
    The Tempest
    Polish National Ballet. Choreography by Krzysztof Pastor
    Dance Open Festival, St Petersburg, Russia
  • 13 May 2017
    Blank Out (German premiere)
    Katherine Manley, soprano
    Roderick Williams (film), Nederlands Kamerkoor (film)
    Orangerie Herrenhausen, Hannover, Germany
  • 17 June 2017
    Attach (Israel premiere)
    Israel contemporary players
    Ed Spanjaard, conductor
    9pm, Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel


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Violin Concerto (excerpt)

Violin concerto TNJanine Janssen, violin
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski
2:33 min. excerpt

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Latest update 12 February 2017