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Dutch National Opera's THE SHELL TRIAL Nominated For Fedora Opera Prize

In 2021, Opéra de Lille's opera Like Flesh, inspired by Ovid's tales of passion, violence and metamorphosis, won this €100.000 prize.

Dutch National Opera's THE SHELL TRIAL Nominated For Fedora Opera Prize

The opera The Shell Trial, produced by Dutch National Opera (DNO), has been nominated for the Fedora Opera Prize: an international award to support pioneering artistic projects that promote international collaboration, creativity, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue, as well as digital innovation on and off stage. In 2021, Opéra de Lille's opera Like Flesh, inspired by Ovid's tales of passion, violence and metamorphosis, won this €100.000 prize. This year, DNO has a chance to win the same prize, with The Shell Trial premiering at DNO's Opera Forward Festival in 2024.

The Shell Trial is a new opera that delves into the context of a game-changing court case in which the oil company giant, Shell, was confronted with its legal responsibility for climate change. However, this production is not only about one company's responsibility, or lack thereof. With The Shell Trial, we bring together different voices and perspectives whereby audiences and stakeholders will be confronted with their own role and responsibility in relation to the climate crisis.

In collaboration with co-producers Gable Roelofsen and Romy Roelofsen, founders of Het Geluid Maastricht, DNO hopes this opera will spark conversation about the climate crisis and the responsibility we all share for the current and future health of our planet. American Pulitzer Prize-winning Ellen Reid will be the composer of this opera, with a libretto by Roxie Perkins. Conductor and theatre maker Manoj Kamps, who debuted with Dutch National Opera in 2020, will co-create and conduct the piece. And American soprano Julia Bullock will co-create and perform in this production.

At Dutch National Opera, sustainability is high on the agenda across the whole organisation. DNO is therefore continually looking for opportunities to implement sustainable strategies throughout the company which means there is, of course, a focus on re-thinking production processes. For The Shell Trial, DNO will implement a compensation plan to offset the ecological footprint of the production and the team will challenge themselves to create all sets and costumes using existing and recycled materials.

The Shell Trial will not only explore new ways to make opera sustainable, but it will also harness the power of contemporary musical theater to spark conversation about one of the most important social issues today: the climate crisis



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Mezzo Isabel Leonard and classical-guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas are stars in their fields. Leonard has sung on two Grammy-winning opera recordings and won a Beverly Sills Artist Award at the Metropolitan Opera--and even guested on Sesame Street. He's garnered 30 international awards, including the Segovia, which he won at age 15, and critics have compared him to that legendary guitarist. Understandably, their recital at the La Jolla Music Society's Conrad sold out more than a month before the performance. Chairs were added on stage for late ticket buyers.

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