Annechien Koerselman is fascinated by stories larger than life. At four years old her mother taught her to read. Since she has devoured books from Greek myths, fairy tales to modern literature. Her theatre work reflects of course this fascination. On the one side she is staging myths (sometimes rewritten for theatre by herself such as The Flying Dutchman and Bonnie & Clyde), on the other side these stories are used as inspiration for the concept and set design of the productions.

Annechien has directed myths such as Atalanta by Peer Wittenbols (Oostpool, 2004), Bluebeard by Dea Loher (The Frequency/Atelier d., 2004) and The Flying Dutchman (Het Vervolg, 2006). For Bout'chou - 4 seasons (Philharmonie Luxembourg, 2014/2015) she created a world full of fairy tale images and music, so the adventures of the little elf Choupinette could come to life. Also in her musical-theatrical approach the connection through literature and visual arts is leading during her researchprocess for inspiration. In case of Fireface by Marius von Mayenburg (Theatre at the Spui, 2008) Annechien used Baroque music for her sounddesign to connect Heaven and Hell in a theatrical way.


Above all, the most important element in her productions is music.



1994 - 1998: Academy of Dramatic Arts Maastricht, specialization: stage - direction

1988 - 1994: Municipal Grammar School Hilversum




Professional Career as a Stage Director


Stage direction The Brass Gang. Sonus Brass Ensemble, Götzis (AT)

Stage direction & Musical dramaturgy Is Jazz music too?. Duo IJlstra-García, Rotterdam (NL)

Concept & Stage direction On the Night Plain. String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction & Lightdesign Beathoven. WDR Cologne (DE)


Stage direction & Costumedesign  The Tree and its Ear – A. Schaap/M. Mussorgsky. International Chambermusicfestival Utrecht (NL)

Stage direction & Lightdesign Something animalistic - L. Frommelt/A.Engelke. WDR Cologne (DE)

Stage directional advice Reflections of Duke. HOT & Brass Utrecht (NL)

Stage direction & Script Jungleboogy. Stichting Dividivi3 Amsterdam (NL)

Concept, Stage direction & Setdesign Opening Canalfestival 2019 'Female Treasures'. The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction, Script & Props What about Mary?. Wishful Singing The Hague (NL)

Stage direction & Script The Umbrella - F. Schoevaart/N. Soeter. Accordion for Art, Gemert (NL)

Stage direction, Set- &Lightdesign Pictures at an Exhibition - C. Haffket/M.Mussorgsky. WDR Cologne (DE)


Stage direction Bachs Mini-opera's (BWV 211 & 212). Camerata Delft (NL)

Stage direction, Setdesign & Props Hildegard - K. Roosendaal/S. Kamperman. Stichting Baraná, Utrecht (NL)

Stage direction & Props Opening Canalfestival 2018 ‘Dichter bij Muziek' The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction & Costumedesign  The Tree and its Ear – A. Schaap/M. Mussorgsky. International Chambermusicfestival Utrecht (NL)

Stage direction, Script & Light Par!s! Par!s!  - A. Koerselman. Die Schurken, Bregenz (AT)

Stage directional concept Der Ring der Nibelungen Odense Symphony Orchestra (DK)

Concept, Stage direction & Production You’ve been talking in your sleep. Ardemus Quartet/ Dutch Classical Talent Utrecht (NL)

Artistic Coach 'Melt me down’ – L. Deane. The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction, Setdesign & Props Opera Homeless – M. Bierens/ K. Vares. Orchestra de Ereprijs, Apeldoorn (NL)


Concept & Stage direction Stichi  Pokajanije - Schnittke. Cappella Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction The Emperor and the Nightingale - HC Andersen/D. Bossurt/U.Parulins. WDR Cologne (DE)

Artistic Coach We Cannot Sleep - L. Deane. The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Concept & Stage direction Opening Canalfestival 2017 'The Stye', The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Idea, Stage direction, Script & Light The Brass Gang - A. Koerselman. Sonus Brass, Götzis (AT)

Idea, Stage direction, Script & Musical dramaturgy Dracula – A. Koerselman. Weesper Chamber Music Festival, Weesp (NL)

Stage direction & Script Goejanverwellesluis - A. Koerselman. Nederlands Zangtheater, Amsterdam (NL)

Concept, Stage direction & Script The Planets – A. Koerselman/G. Holst. Konserthuset Stockholm (S)


Final Stage direction, Concept Set, Costume & Lightdesign Christmaspassion (Jezus vierde zelf geen Kerst). Klaartje van Veldhoven/Rembrandt Frerichs Trio, The Hague (NL)

Stage direction, Stage adaptation, Set, Costume & Lightdesign The Secret of the Blue Deer - Koerselman/Händel/Hanusa. Deutsche Oper Berlin (DE)

Stage direction, Set, Costume & Lightdesign Babyn Jar - Stankovich/Brahms, Ukranian Jewish Encounter, Kiev (Ukraine)

Stage direction & Stage Management Opening Bachfestival 2016 - R. Nemavar/J.S. Bach, Bachfestival Dordrecht (NL)

Stage direction & Script When witches put a spell… Dividivi 3 / The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction & Props Opening Canalfestival 2016 'Crossing bridges', The Grachtenfestival Amsterdam (NL)

Stage direction, Costumedesign & Props Carnaval des Animaux – T.Tellegen/Saint-Saëns International Chambermusicfestival Utrecht (NL)

Stage direction Dijkdrift – J. Willems/R. Hekkema Silbersee, Zaandam & Calefax Reed Quintet, Amsterdam (NL)

Stage directional advice ‘Cora Burggraaf zingt een lied voor jou'. Cora Burggraaf, Amsterdam (NL)

Concept. Stage direction & Light Panambí, a musical expedition. Orchestra Nieuw Geluid, Den Haag (NL)

Stage direction, Script & Light Bout‘chou – Water (4 Elements) - A. Koerselman. Philharmonie Luxembourg (L)

Stage direction, Script & Light Bout‘chou – Fire (4 Elements) - A. Koerselman. Philharmonie Luxembourg (L)

Concept, Stage direction, Set& Video-design The little ugly Duck – M. Schermer/T. Borsten Theater Sonnevanck, Enschede (NL)


written/developped/created by Annechien Koerselman




Textcompositions / Theatreplays

1. The Sound on the Track (The Rhythm of the Ocean), 2020 commissioned by Die Tonkuenstler, Wien

2. Brimful Sounds (Watercastlemusic), 2020 commissioned by Die Tonkuenstler, Wien

3. Jungleboogy - script, 2019

4. What about Mary - script, 2018 after texts by Wendela de Vos

5. The Umbrella - script, 2018  after the novel by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert

6. Par!s! Par!s! - script, 2017 commissioned by Die Schurken, Bregenz 

7. Dracula - a musical theatrical concert, 2017

8. The Brassgang - script, 2016 

9. When witches put a spell... - script, 2016 

10. The Planets, 2015 commissioned by Philharmonie Luxembourg 

11. Bout’chou – 4 Elements (earth, air, fire, water) - script, 2015 

12. Carmencita, 2015 

13. Rascal, 2015 

14. Bout’chou – 4 Seasons (autum, winter, spring, summer) - script, 2014 

15. The (new) Story of the Soldier, 2014 commissioned by Philharmonic Orchestra Rotterdam

16. Peter and the Wolf, after Prokofjev and the animation by S. Templeton, 2014 commissioned by International Chambermusicfestival Utrecht

17. Feiervillchen, after The Firebird, 2013 commissioned by Philharmonie Luxembourg

18. Kenau the Opera - libretto, 2013 commissioned by Zangstudio Haarlem

19. Children of the Stars - script, 2012 

20. A Stairway to the Clouds - script, 2012 commissioned by Oorkaan Producties

21. Malle Babbe the opera - script, 2011 commissioned by Stichting Haarlemse Opera

22. The Secret of the Seasoning - libretto, 2011 commissioned by Muziektheater Zoem, Beusichem

23. Ploink! - Script, 2011

24. Moulin Rouge, the Parade Opera, 2011

25. Marfoejska & the Frost, a warm winter fairy tale, 2010 commissioned by International Chambermusicfestival Utrecht

26. The Musicfactory - script, 2010 commissioned by Oorkaan Producties & Calefax Reed Quintet Amsterdam

27. The Wolf and the Seven little Goats, - libretto 2009 commissioned by Theater Sonnevanck, Enschede

28. Bonnie & Clyde, 2009

29. The Firebird, after the Russian Fairy tale, 2009 commissioned by Het Grachtenfestival, Amsterdam

30. Lady M., after Macbeth by W. Shakespeare, 2007 commissioned by Het Vijfde Bedrijf, Den Haag

31. Pagliaccio, after the opera Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, 2007 

32. Kaspar Hauser, a modern story of the Creation, 2006 

33. De Vliegende Hollander, free after the opera by Wagner, 2005

34. Tranquillizers, 2002

35. The Life of the Fifth Day - script, 1999 commissioned by De Balie, Amsterdam

Adaptations after novels

1. Who's that knocking at my door, free after the eponymous picture book - T. Michels, 2020 commissioned by The Tonkuenstler, Vienna

2. Libretto The Brendan Expedition (Suite), after the novel by T. Severin, 2020 commissioned by The Amstel Quartet, Amsterdam

3. Libretto The  Secret of the Blue Deer, after the novel Dertien rennende Hertjes by E. van de Vendel, 2016 commissioned by Deutsche Oper Berlin

4. Three Women amongst King William I - M. Meissen, 2013 commissioned by Het Portret Spreekt, Den Haag

5. It is a Scourge, Desire, after 3 romans by L. Couperus, 2013 commissioned by Literary Theatre Branoul, The Hague

6. Black Perfume, after the story Morphine by M. Bulgakov - libretto, 2012

7. Buck, de buckerette, after cartoons by B. Dekker, 2010 commissioned by Nimbus Theater, The Hague

8. Here is Where, Utopia, after the epos Leila en Madschnun by Nizami, 2009

9. Abi, the Ciske the Rat of the Schilderswijk, after the novel Hoezo Bloedmooi by H. Sahar, 2008

10. Tinglings 2, or on tour with Alice in Wonderland..., after the novel by L. Carroll, 2008

11. Frauenleben und – Liebe, after Böse Schafe by K. Lange-Müller, 2008 commissioned by Stichting Korben, Deventer

12. Checkpoint Cha Cha Cha, after plays by K. van den Bosch, 2006

13. The House of the Future, free after the novel L’Enfant du Sable by T. Ben Jelloun, 2004

14. RainDogs, after several American novels, 2003

15. The Garden of the Innocent, after the novel by K. Hemmerechts, 2001



1. Bluebeard – Dea Loher, 2003

2. Handbag – Mark Ravenhill, 2001

3. Leonce & Lena – Georg Büchner, 1999

4. Le Square – Marguerite Duras, 1998



LAND OF OVERSEAS (Idea, Stage Direction, Musical Dramaturgy, Set- & Videodesign)

Stage director Annechien Koerselman also provides in speed and dynamics through staging the actresses in a set, that can change in all kind of areas and rooms. In addition, she adds a layer through music that consists of a variety of American styles, such as blues, folk and traditionals.

De Volkskrant, Vincent Kouters

... Land of Overseas is a performance, in which is carefully taken care of all the details. Tasteful images, a well-considered stage direction, a multifunctional rustic cabinet annex seating furniture. Luckily not only to be seen in Sealand ...

Theaterkrant, Dick van Teylingen

PAGLIACCIO (Idea, Concept, Playwright, Stage Direction)

Stage director Annechien Koerselman created a very nice over-the-top drama. The actors cry, shout, curse and fight and all for love.

8Weekly, Annemarike Ruitenbeek

Stage director Annechien Koerselman has created a very special performance.


BLUEBEARD (Idea, Concept, Translation, Stage Direction, Musical Composition, Co-Producer)

Annechien Koerselman created a convincing performance and delivers again a testament to her talent as a stage director.

De Theatermaker, Constant Meijers

In this interesting and special staging by the young stage director Annechien Koerselman movement and music bulk largely. […] Through this a surprisingly layered performance comes alive with a universal core: the search for (eternal) love and the powerlessness of the man to properly nurture love.

De Volkskrant, Karen Veraart

THE HOUSE OF THE FUTURE (Concept, Stage Adaptation, Stage Direction, Musical Composition)

The performance of stage director Annechien Koerselman is not the literary theater after which you don't have to read the book anymore. [...] Koerselman shifts the focus, distorts the atmosphere and shuffles with time. And thus the stage director bends Benn Jellouns strange legend [...] fully to her will. Koerselman tells her own story [...] In this way, Koerselman makes out of a sinister book sparkling theater. Without losing Ben Jellouns spirit. Cleverly done.

AD (Haagsche Courant), Maja Landeweer

BONNIE & CLYDE (Idea, Concept, Playwright, Stage Direction, Musical Composition, Producer)

Stage director Annechien Koerselman is not eschewing the substantive content [...] the texts and the furnishing (the atmospheric set by Yvon Muller and the detailed costumes by Jookje Zweedijk) exceed the carnival feeling [of the festival].

Telegraaf, Esther Kleuver

This romantic cowboy comedy is filled with dancing and singing, shooting and robbing. All great ingredients for a performance packed with entertainment. 'Bonnie and Clyde ' is a flashy performance that is full of adrenaline., Chris Belloni


THE LITTLE UGLY DUCK (Idea, Concept, Stage Direction, Set- & Videodesign)

So it is possible [...] making fascinating theater, suitable for both children and adults. The combination of acting, vocals, music and text in the little ugly duck - a loose adaptation of the story by Hans Andersen, conceived and directed by Annechien Koerselman -led to a strong and creative performance lasting 75 minutes which was really telling something.

Rein Swart

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS (Stage Direction & Videodesign)

On a large milky white globe images of Bosch's Garden of earthly delights are shown in ever-changing rhythms. [...] And if you are watching this in the supermusical context of synchronous and asynchronous music, which so insistent, masterfully, fresh and fruity is swinging around that mysterious ball, then you're already broken after the second tableau [...] The caring processions. in which the five ' guys ' involve the crystal ball in their musical acting make this piece an incomparable 'observing of the soul '.

Leidsch Dagblad, Lidy van der Spek

THE BRASSGANG (Idea, Concept, Stage Direction & Playwright)

The content was not only through what was shown understandable, but it was also fascinating reflected in the musical performances and the music itself. Therein lay the exceptional power of the whole piece. Visual and catchy compositions formed the basis for the imaginatively told story. Stage director Annechien Koerselman and the musicians have made a striking selection. [...] Stage director Annechien Koerselman translated it into coherent balanced scenes. Bravely she first gradually built the suspence, in this way she raised the expectations on what was ahead of us and the resulting joy about what then dynamicly occured.

Kulturzeitschrift, Silvia Thurner

A success across the board.

Clarino, Cornelia Härtl

PAR!S! PAR!S! (Concept, Stage Direction, Playwright & Lightdesign)

Annechien Koerselman has written a humorous story, in which the artistic charm in Paris during the 1920s manifest itself perfectly. The musicians yearned back in earlier times. Without further hesitation they launched their time machine, which transports them back to this time and facilitates an encounter with Erik Satie himself. After a stopover in 1938, the musicians returned to the present. In between we are treated to tense conflicts of interest, humorous stories, and even two moments of fainting.
With „Paris! Paris!“ in the stage direction by Annechien Koerselman and the design by Nina Ball the Schurken achieved fascinating music theatre, home to an extensive content.

Kulturzeitschrift, Silvia Thurner

THE MUSICFACTORY (Concept, Stage Direction & Playwright)

It turns out that they can play on the pvc pipes which they work with as panflutes, each one or two notes, but all combined a complete piece of music. It is one of the many enchanting moments in this merry music performance The Musicfactory by Calefax Reed Quintet. [...] The children's performance for children from six is perfectly drawn up. No word is spoken, but the five musicians turn out to be talented mimes, which in gesture and music can tell a humorous and touching story about social relationships.

NRC Handelsblad, Jochem Valkenburg

WHAT ABOUT MARY (Stage Direction, Script & Lightdesign)

Stage director Annechien Koerselman has created with modest means a wonderful theatrical performance.

Haarlems Dagblad, Winand van de Kamp

Absolutely ingenious, witty, but also touching. The five Maria's showed many facets of woman life, both viual and audible. And everything with a smile, a tear and a stunning artistry.

Meppeler Courant, Marjan Doorn

MOULIN ROUGE (Idea, Concept, Stage Direction, Playwright, Musical Composition & Producer)

With the opera Moulin Rouge Annechien Koerselman puts on stage an atmospheric and romantic story with beautiful music. One hears the CanCan from the operetta Orphée aux enfers in addition to Chanson de l'adieu and parts from La Bohème by Puccini. In Festival the Parade Moulin Rouge is a performance that stands out and where you leave with a satisfied feeling.

Gooddayz, Anneke Ruys


DIJKDRIFT (Stage Direction)

The stylized stage direction by Annechien Koerselman brings the story close by, but also ensures that the raw, shocking scenes do not find too hard. […]  This piece, imbued of religious characteristics is a satire, but the undertone is one of urgent severity. [...] Dijkdrift is fascinating and very originally music theater, in which the different disciplines are ingeniously interwoven.

De Volkskrant, Frits van der Waa

Stage director Annechien Koerselman ensures that Dijkdrift soaks up and sucks down the spectator in its own universe.

Trouw, Sara van der Kooi

Very special is that all players are both beautifully singing, making music in a marvelous way and are acting stronly at the same time. An incredible achievement of stage director Annechien Koerselman and all performers. Dijkdrift is an extremely original opera production.

Scenes, Jos Schuring


Moving solos, numerous choirs, good dramatic structure and exciting sequences skillfully coordinated by stage director Annechien Koerselman all combine to make up Jonathan Dove’s children’s opera.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Wolfgang Schreiber

HILDEGARD (Stage Direction & Setdesign)

In the clear stage direction by Annechien Koerselman and clever set design by Annechien Koerselman and costume design by Vera Selhorst all roles are solidly to distinguish with the help of very minimal resources.

Theaterkrant, Henri Drost

Authenticity. Bedding. Quality. Ear and eye for detail. In everything. Great use of space. Nice inventions in images. Movement in music is visually underlined with gestures, by use of props, use of space. Everyday sounds as cutting paper are used as music, word-, and atmospheric colouring.

Brechtje Roos

ISOLA DISABITATA (Stage Direction)

Desert island ' Haydn nice unpolished. [...] Her bond with nature is imagined by an extra, not speaking character: a dancer who turns around her and watches everything happen. A great invention. [...] The ending is ambiguous: happy with their rescue the main characters transform: the leaves dress for a lady suit, canopy for a chandelier and smooth nature dance into a rigid style dance. Yet, were they not happier on the island?

NRC, Jochem Valkenburg

Annechien Koerselman [presented] the characters very much to the point and she created several beautiful scenes – helped by the beautiful light design by Yvon Muller. They also gave the opera a surprising end.

Place de l'Opera, Jordi Kooiman

GOLD (Stage Direction)

The percussion and the rapid choreography fit together perfectly. The story has a particular theme: greed. The elaboration is imaginative. ' Gold ' is gold.

Tubantia, Jolien Leussink

THE SECRET OF THE BLUE DEER (Stage Direction, Stage Adaptation, Set-, Costume- & Lightdesign)

An enchantment is the stage, which is also the novel by Edward van the Vendel, spreading out over many pages and the poetic language. But here, music and the actions ensure that the children believe Lena saw thirteen blue mini deer... […] The music and the playful acting with the small props fullfill the story, making it complete and sparkling. A celebration of the fantasy!

Berliner Zeitung, Cornelia Geissler



PAGLIACCIO (Idea, Concept, Playwright, Stage Direction)

" Organized chaos ". That characterizes the theater pieces of Annechien Koerselman. " A typical Koerselman is sexual, energetic and with a lot of guts ". [...] She loves romanticism, passion and clear statements- Pagliaccio, the new theatre production of stage director Annechien Koerselman (1976)  is full of them.


De Volkskrant, Truus Ruiter

LAND OF OVERSEAS (Idea, Stage Direction, Musical dramaturgy, Set- & Videodesign)

The stage director about her approach to the exchange of letters: "as a kind of Junglevisitor, armed with an axe I have plowed the text in finding where the music had to come in and how this was supposed to sound like. So I wrote Wiek: I wanted to let the leitmotiv from Beautiful Anna return, but also add a leitmotiv for the daughter. Also, I have asked him to compose a native American dance. I also have added a number of Glenn Miller, a country song and a song about poverty. "

ArtikelPZC03 11 2014

PZC, Ali Pankow

THE HOUSE OF THE FUTURE (Concept, Stage adaptation, Stage Direction, Musical composition)

The performance reflects perfectly the life motto of Koerselman as well. " The moment you die, it helps I think, not having the feeling you have lived your life cowardly. The siamese twins does that in any case and I myself, also try to avoid walking the familiar paths and always meet a new challenge."


De Telegraaf, Esther Kleuver


BEAUTIFUL ANNE (Stage Direction & Musical dramaturgy)

During the first reading of the piece Koerselman noticed, she was the only one of the cast/crew that occasionally had to laugh. She credits it to her sense of perspective that she  recognizes in all disaster still the humor in life. " Moreover, I like people, who are not easy brought to their knees, but despite setback continue to perservere. This also applies to Anna. She does not allow her life to stagnate. Despite much adversity her story offers a lot of humor ", as the stage director mentioned.

PZC Ali Pankow

PZC, Ali Pankow

MOULIN ROUGE (Idea, Concept, Stage Direction, Playwright, Musical composition & Producer)

With her exuberant style of making music theater Koerselman acts straight against the contemporary Zeitgeist. " We live in a society which is ruled by managers. Today's world is about doing business, everything has to be correct. We are being re-educated by companies, CEO's and the Government. They act like we have collectively attended the Waldorf school and cannot think [or take responsibility] for the whole. That [political] accusation that we [artists] are hobbyists of the left wing, is the epitome of this. As if we were slacking off [...] What those managers do not want to accept, is that things sometimes just don't add up in life. I find a makeshift life, with all the setbacks which come along with it, fun. I believe in fairy tales. I dream of Moulin Rouge. She hopes the public that is going to see her Parade opera will come out more romantic and more nostalgic. Because life is meaningless. It is the stories of people who experience something, which get through it, which makes life hopeful. As soon as Mimi is dancing on stage, it is a life-or-death situation. Nowadays that is impossible. That people still stand for a life to the death. "


TheaterMaker, Vincent Kouters


DIJKDRIFT (Stage Direction)

Because what is this piece about,  Koerselman asked herself  " the plot is very basic and is getting more gruesome. But as Jesus was capable of forgiveness, a man also should be able to show resilience: we have dealed with a lot of trouble, but life goes ón. I want a plea for resilience. "


NRC, Floris Don

GOLD (Stage Direction & Lightdesign)

" The composer, the librettist and I have developed the piece jointly from the start ", stage director Koerselman explains. " Flora came up with a proposal for a scene, Leonard let himself being inspired to compose, but first witnessed [in the rehearsal room], how I wanted to put everything on stage. Such very close cooperation is unusual. "


Berliner Morgenpost, Martina Helmig

CAN YOU WHISTLE, JOHANNA? (Stage Direction & Lightdesign)

" Often, performances for children are about animals or fantasy characters. The great thing about our material is that it is a story about people, a family history to which everyone can relate. [...] Someone dies, and yet the story is not about death, but about life and (human) relationships."

Deutsche Oper Magazine nr 4

Deutsche Oper Magazine 2013, Nr. 4


In the column "Child Stars" we find out how it is with children from good old TV series and movies. How is the 'chicken, fries and applesauce-girl' from 'Children for Children' doing? This girl is called in real Annechien Koerselman (40), she still can sing and now works as a stage director in theater, music theatre and opera.
Music was always a part of my life and it is still now. I am very happy about my profession and that it is behind the scenes. The good thing is that my voice still is in order and that I can play well myself (I've attended the academy of dramatic arts), which helps a lot in staging. When people stand on stage, I can get them to greater heights. I love to have an overview. I don't have the need anymore to stand in front of the camera.

Interview Linda 10 maart 2017

Linda, Martine Findhammer-Schut, 10 maart 2017

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