Marjolein Niels / Education Manager
Before obtaining a Master’s degree in cultural management at the University of Antwerp, Dutch mezzo-soprano Marjolein Niels made a career as an opera singer. She graduated at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in 2003 and was one of the first alumni of the Dutch National Opera Academy.
Praised for her warm timbre and appealing stage presence, Marjolein Niels was a frequent guest with leading orchestras and opera companies in the Netherlands. One of the highlights from the past seasons included dance opera The Sopranos, in collaboration with the renowned dance company ICK Amsterdam and Opera Zuid. This co-production, set to music by Verdi with choreography by Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten, was nominated by the public as dance performance of 2014. The tour of A train rode to Sobibor (Er reed een trein naar Sobibor) was a musical and emotional highlight of 2013. On the occasion of Remembrance Day, this concert was broadcast nationwide on Dutch television. On the operatic stage Marjolein Niels sang the role of Welgunde and Siegrune in Antony McDonald’s highly acclaimed production of Wagner’s Ring cycle conducted by Ed Spanjaard. Marjolein Niels performed this role with the Nationale Reisopera, where she also sang the roles of Néris in Medea and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Other roles have included Flora in La traviata (Opera Zuid), Néris in Médée (Opera2Day), Maman in L’enfant et les sortilèges (NTR ZaterdagMatinee of the Concertgebouw), Dido in Dido and Aeneas, First Secretary in Nixon in China, Dorabella in Così fan tutte (Het Gelders Orkest) and Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Concertgebouw Amsterdam under the direction of Laurence Dale). As a concert singer Marjolein Niels has worked with conductors such as Hans Graf, Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Frans Brüggen and Bruno Weil.
Marjolein Niels is also a passionate lieder singer. She was invited to sing solo recitals in various theatres in Europe including Le Grand Théatre de Tours, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, (Jonge Nederlanders and Tracks series), Internationales Stimmen Festival Holzhausen and the vocal-series Royale Vocale in The Hague.
Marjolein Niels studied with Maarten Koningsberger and Margreet Honig. At the DNOA, she sang the roles of Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. During the 2003 – 2004 she was an ensemble-member of the Dutch Opera Studio. Next to singing, Marjolein Niels has passionately devoted her career to music education. She was the artistic leader of a musical-theatre group for children and a music teacher at a primary school. Since 2017 Marjolein Niels has been an advisor to the National Foundation of the Performing Arts (Fonds Podiumkunsten).