Man met vegen opgezocht zit op een bed in het bos en kijkt langs de camera. Op de achtergrond lopen een vrouw en een kind hand in hand.

Song of the dark forest

Song of the dark forest is a moving, compelling and comforting performance, performed by the complete group of dancers of Scapino, an opera singer and live music by the DoelenEnsemble. It sings the tragic song of war. An unknown soldier, hovering between life and death, longs to return to his loved ones but is also haunted by memories of the battlefield. With poignant songs and dance by four choreographers, this timeless story comes to life.

Musically, a leading role is given to the work of Dmitri Shostakovich. In times of war and oppression, his music was a source of hope and comfort for many. Songs by composers such as Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov will also be heard from which an unmistakable pacifist message emerges, as well as a melancholy longing for better times. It concludes with Sergei Akhunov's recent "Prayer for Peace". That title is a true motto for the entire performance.

In 2019/2020, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam successfully collaborated for the first time with the high-profile OPERA2DAY in the production Opera Melancholica, starring dancer Ellen Landa. Artistic director Ed Wubbe then invited director Serge van Veggel to create a performance with four top choreographic talents and the leading DoelenEnsemble from Rotterdam.

Zes danseressen met een arm omhoog in diagonale positie


Artistic direction
Ed Wubbe

Serge van Veggel (OPERA2DAY)

Diego Sinniger de Salas
Miller de Nobili
YoY Performing Arts

Our full tableau

DoelenEnsemble (led by Maarten van Veen & Arie van Beek)

Singer / Bas-Bariton
Andrii Ganchuk, Wiebe Pier Cnossen

Henk de Vlieger

Herbert Janse

Light design
Jasper Nijholt

Costume design
Petra Finke

View our castlist

Made possible by: Ministerie van OCW, Gemeente Rotterdam, Brighter World, Erasmusstichting, G. Ph. Verhagenstichting, PWC, STOER, Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds

Een lichaam wordt over het podium gesleept door een duister gekleed karakter
Groep mensen op een donker podium die in beweging zijn


OPERA2DAY creates opera performances, combining relevant stories, compelling music and powerful staging to give the audience a meaningful experience.

Artistic director and director Serge van Veggel is known for his conceptual approach, often fusing opera with other genres. The fusion of music, song and theatre can move, surprise, amuse and inspire - as well as deeply touch the soul and make emotional and social issues palpable. Thus, OPERA2DAY has developed into an innovative and high-profile company that manages to reinvent the genre of opera and individual opera titles for today's audiences.

In our digital program book, Serge talks about the creation of this performance and the need to create this.

Ruochen Wang solo met een hondenriem



The DoelenEnsemble has become a leading player in the field of contemporary classical music in Rotterdam and the Netherlands. Surprising, renewing and connecting are central to the DoelenEnsemble's mission.

The collaboration with parties in this production is unique. Artistic director and conductor Maarten van Veen says: "I hope that as a spectator you take home an experience you really never forget, there is still so much beauty to discover in the collaboration, where 1+1 really becomes 3."

In our digital program book you will find Maarten's explanation of the performance's choice of music. You can download the translations of the songs here.

Meisje met ballon, op de achtergrond vechten soldaten