Jörg Widmann (c) Marco Borggreve

Widmann's giant ARCHE


  • Jörg Widmann ARCHE (Dutch premiere)

SPIEGELZAAL 13.40-14.05 UUR - Bas van Putten in conversation with Jörg Widmann

After the Dutch premiere of Jörg Widmann's overwhelming opera Babylon in 2017, the Matinee now brings ARCHE to the Netherlands. Karina Canellakis conducts.

From Michelangelo to Sloterdijk

With the oratorio ARCHE (2017), Jörg Widmann wrote another giant work for a monster ensemble five years after the world premiere of his opera Babylon. He mobilised around three hundred musicians for this commissioned piece, which he wrote for the opening of Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie; a large-staffed symphony orchestra, soprano and baritone soloists, two choirs and a children's choir. He also aims high on the poetic-philosophical level. The text sources range from Michelangelo to Peter Sloterdijk and from Matthias Claudius to Schiller, Heine and Nietzsche.

Burlesque forms and sober conclusion

Thematically, ARCHE, with its central role for the Flood, is akin to opera. It revolves around the relationship between man and God, which is threatened by a devastating natural disaster. What is a creator worth, who does this to his children? What is the value of a creation in which man is capable not only of the highest love but also of the lowest murder? The fact that there is no answer is the source of all human despair, which is dealt with in ARCHE with all its ups and downs. And which often takes on cabaretesque and burlesque forms, before the sober conclusion in the closing Dona nobis pacem that man himself is responsible for his own fate.

Ticket sales NTR Saturday Matinee season 2022-23

From 1 March '22: passe-partouts and series tickets

From 1 June '22: single tickets

Saturday, November 12, 2022
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Go to the website
Karina Canellakis, chief conductor RFO
Karina Canellakis
View profile
Netherlands Radio Choir
Go to the website
Hungarian National Choir
National Children's Choir & National Boys' Choir
Benjamin Goodson - Photo: Paolo Ferla
Benjamin Goodson
Choir conductor
View profile
Csaba Somos
Choir conductor
Wilma ten Wolde
Choir conductor
Sarah Brady
Thomas E. Bauer
Jan Valentin Schener (Solist des Knabenchores der Chorakademie Dortmund)
Boy's soprano
Chiara Schütz (von der Chorakademie Dortmund)
Jakob Geppert (von der Chorakademie Dortmund)
Varvara Tishina
Soprano, [choral soloist].
View profile
Ludovic Provost
Baritone, [choral soloist].
View profile

Coming soon

Stéphane Denève
Sunday, December 10, 2023
The Sunday Morning Concert

Fauré's Requiem by the Great Broadcasting Choir

Carolin Widmann
Saturday, December 16, 2023
NTR Saturday Matinee

Ligeti central: from Atmosphères to Violin Concerto

Friday, December 22, 2023
AVROTROS Friday Concert

AVROTROS Christmas Concert

Saturday, December 23, 2023

NPO Radio 4 Christmas concert

Unsuk Chin
Saturday, January 13, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

Orchestral fireworks by Chin and Stravinsky

Karina Canellakis (c) Marco Borggreve
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Other series

Pieces of Tomorrow - Music of Leonard Bernstein

Karina Canellakis - Photo23 Eduardus Lee
Friday, January 19, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Karina Canellakis with an American program

Sunday, January 21, 2024
The Sunday Morning Concert

Symphonic dances from West Side Story - Barnatan plays Gershwin

Simone Lamsma
Saturday, January 27, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

Lamsma/Vänskä: dream duo in Nielsen's Violin Concerto

Hannes Minnaar
Friday, February 2, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Hannes Minnaar with Brahms' Second Piano Concerto

Follow us on social media