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The Netherlands Opera turns 50 in the 2014-15 season. The Opera opened in 1986 and has a large modern stage that can respond to large scenic demands. The Opera typically presents 11 productions per season. The company makes 23.2 percent of its income in ticket sales and the rest comes from subsides and donations.
Think of opera and the Netherlands and, unless you are familiar with the scene, you might come up with The Flying Dutchman (which actually is set in Norway) and perhaps name a couple of conductors and singers. But there is a rich musical culture here. This city, a place I have visited intermittently but with pleasure since 1976, always drew me more for its splendid museums and its connections to my native New York. It was the only major European city in which I had never seen an opera.
Last week I traveled to Amsterdam specifically because theNetherlands Opera was presenting a rare, fully-staged production ofGuillaume Tell. This magnificent opera is Rossini’s last and often called his masterpiece, though I rank it second to Semiramide.
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