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Muziektheater, Amsterdam

The Muziektheater is the most important opera and ballet venue in the Netherlands. It is part of the Stopera, a complex that also houses the city hall. The Muziektheater (The Music Theater) is home of The Dutch Opera, The National Ballet, and the Holland Symphonia. The music theater is situated at the borders of the river Amstel in one of the oldest parts of the city.

History of the Muziektheater
The idea of building a complex that would house a music theater and a city hall first came up in 1915. It took long for the plan to materialize, but in 1981 the City Council finally took the decision to go forward with the project. The Dutch architect Cees Dam was appointed to build the Music Theater in cooperation with Wilhelm Holzbauer, who was responsible for the city hall. The Music Theater celebrated its officially opening in 1986 and the City Council moved to the new city hall in 1988.

Architecture of the Music Theater
The architects of the music theater and city hall complex were confronted with a major challenge: How to integrate the building plans of the city hall and the music theater into one design? On the ground floor can be seen how they succeeded in tackling this difficulty. The city hall is functionally and spatially merging with the Music Theater and covered streets incorporate the building harmoniously into the life of the old city center. One of the most beautiful features of the building is the 14 meter curved façade, facing the river Amstel.

The Dutch Opera
Since its establishment in 1964 the Dutch Opera (Nederlandse Opera) has a reputation for daring productions. The Dutch Opera stages a lot of modern operas and new, innovative productions of the standard classical repertoire. In 2009 they will perform operas as varied as Verdi’s Traviata, Janáček’s Makropulos, Adam in Ballingschap from the Dutch composer Rob Zuidam and Bizet’s Carmen. The company is led by Pierre Audi who is artistic director since 1988.

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Additional Photos by Csaba Witz (csabagaba) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 617 W: 172 N: 1499] (7018)
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