The mother of black-winged dreams

A contemporary opera composed by Hanna Kulenty

The main subject of the opera is schizophrenia, the psychological crisis undergone by Clara, the heroine. Without a doubt this is a subject exceptional in an operatic work, yet at the same time one highly characteristic of the past century, in which arose thorough scientific studies of this serious mental illness. The atmosphere of The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams makes reference on a literary and theatrical level to expressionism, aspiring to extract and disclose the innermost experiences concealed within the individual. 
The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams did not come about in a manner typical of opera. Hannah Kulenty, holding ready in her imagination the entire emotional and dramatic layer of the work, turned to the librettist, Paul Goodman, with a suggestion for a text on the subject of schizophrenia. It could therefore be said that the music was first to appear. Kulenty interfered in the text, demanding such features as multiple repetitions in order to obtain the effect of a verbal and musical mantra. She aspired to a blend of theatre and opera, for she is taken to be an opponent of traditional opera. In this no doubt lies the origin also of the double cast.

2016 August6, 9, 10, 12, 13 
NJO muziekzomer
coproductionNJO and DNOA


Stage directorJavier Lopez PiƱon
ConductorClark Rundell
Set designRieks Swarte
Light designAlex Brok
CostumesSascha Zwiers


ClaraZofia Hanna
Click Maari Ernits
Click Jeannette van Schaik
Scissors Nikki Treurniet
Scissors Wendy Krikken
Woodraven Kazuma Goto
Woodraven David Visser