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Michel van der Aa's After Life at the Netherlands Opera

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What was the most defining moment in your life? This is the question that stands at the heart of Michel van der Aa’s opera.

Taking the film of the same name by Hirokazu Kore-Eda as its basis, the opera introduces us to people who are taken directly from their earthly existence into heaven. They may experience their most important memory once more in the form of a film and then take it with them into eternity.

A complex structure results from a combination of live action, film, live music and electronic sounds, which van der Aa builds further onto his successful one act opera One – itself awarded the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize in 2004. Extremely diverse time-periods are reflected in the music and in the plot, although the work nevertheless preserves its clarity and an unequivocality that flows ceaselessly from its humanistic base.

This video appears on with the kind permission of De Nederlandse Opera.

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