The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore is a 1956 madrigal opera for choir and musicians about a Man in a castle who refuses to conform to the habits of the masses. Instead, he plays the people and thereby seriously confuses them. The idiosyncratic artist successively introduces three fantastic beasts as pets: a unicorn, a gorgon and a manticore. They symbolize the different stages of human life. The crowd first mocks these abnormal animals, but soon pressure builds in the group to follow the new trend. After all, without such an animal you can no longer show yourself on the street, isn't it?

Menotti (1911 - 2007) wrote this parable, among other things, in response to the recurring fierce criticism he received on his compositions. In a humorous way he shows how easy it is to convince a crowd that is guided only by social mores and how important it is therefore to remain true to one's own thoughts and feelings, as an artist and as a person. As one notices, Menotti's work has lost none of its topicality 67 years later.

08 Goejanverwellesluis boyhazes

Images resp. © Jeremy Enecio, Yago Portal, unknown / Composition © Annechien Koerselman

Credits Cast & Crew

Choir Het Nederlands Zangtheater:

Sopranos Marja Beuk, Adelheid Brouwer, Mecheline Draafsel, Karin Nijenhuis, Alice Ruijzenaars, Carla Schaaij, Janneke Tangelder

Altos Maria Boschman, Yvonne Drost, Renee Heeringa, Bernadette Houdijk, Christelle van der Meer, Marijke Spronk, Annemiek Vos

Tenors Georg Bröring, Jos Marcus, Ron Roozendaal, Hans School, Wilbert te Velde

Basses Tejo van Gaalen, Willem Pool, Peter Staats, Ewald de Wilde de Ligny

Piano Ruud Zielhorst


Composer Gian Carlo Menotti (1911 - 2007)

Libretto Gian Carlo Menotti

Conductor Anthony Zielhorst

Concept & Stage direction Annechien Koerselman

Realisation Costumes & Props Renee Heeringa, Janneke Tangelder

Lightdesign Annechien Koerselman

Audiocorrection CD Recording 1994 Dico

Producer Georg Bröring, Irene Elich, Ewald de Wilde de Ligny

Photography & Graphical design Boy Hazes

Organisation Het Nederlands Zangtheater Amsterdam



Amsterdam Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis May 20, 2022 20.00h premiere

Amsterdam Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis May 21, 2022 16.00h

Amsterdam Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis May 21 2022 20.00h

Amsterdam Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis May 22, 2022 14.00h

Amsterdam Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis May 22, 2022 17.00h

Ordering Tickets


More information:


The Unicorn, The Gorgon & The Manticore is made possible by subventions through the AFK Fund and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund Noord-Holland. With special thanks to Fay Abali (Sterrenstof fashion).

When palace walls make themselves heard


Who does not know her: Loo, the almost 400-year-old palace of the House of Orange in the heart of Apeldoorn. But how well do you really know this diva with royal traits?

Loo is a dazzling music theater performance in which Marketing Manager Klamer and his assistant Alicia are in search of Loo's soul. They have big plans for the palace now that it has been completely renovated, refurbished and rebuilt. But Loo, played by soprano Laetitia Gerards, is an idiosyncratic lady who does not do anyone's dirty work. At least that's what she thinks, but then she doesn't know Klamer yet… As soon as Loo opens a palace door, Klamer and Alicia take a theatrical dive into her past. And this affects her own heart too. Nostalgia for days gone by, when majesties inhabited her, musicians performed in her concert hall, and she let her chandeliers shine during sumptuous dinners, makes Loo more candid and loose-lipped than one would expect from a royal palace. Does she stand?

Loo is as comical as it is dynamic music theater, in which one gets a theatrical tour behind the scenes of Loo. The setting in which all this happens is different than usual. The hall (Rabobankzaal) of Orpheus has been converted into an audience hall for this special occasion. While the spectator is served a majestic dinner to the sounds of composers such as Händel, Mozart and Strauss jr., an exciting game between appearance and reality unfolds. There Loo, Klamer, Alicia together with an eight-member musical ensemble and a procession of lackeys dust off Dutch history, almost forgotten stadholders, kings and queens present themselves, and bridges are built to the present. Does the 400-year-old lady Loo still have a future in 2022?

Loo is Theater Orpheus' second production. These productions are based on regional stories that have a national appearance.

Loo SvenScholten TheaterOrpheus

Photo © Sven Scholten

Credits Cast & Crew

Teaser © Theater Orpheus Apeldoorn (NL)


De Stentor, Ingrid Willems,  April 22, 2021

In the performance I want to show the struggle of Palace Het Loo's right to exist.
[Palace] Het Loo is existing for almost four hundred years and I notice that in the west of the country where I live, hardly any attention is paid to it. While I think: Het Loo is such an important part of the Dutch identity. The Palace has grown with us for four hundred years and has gone through all the phases.

Stentor 22april2021 448

 Video © Ingrid Willems/De Stentor

Apeldoorn Direct, David Levie,  April 22, 2021

Rap mal anders - from the "WDR@Philharmonie" series - for everyone from 13 years old


Orchestra and rap - together with the WDR Funkhausorchestra Rote Mütze Raphi, winner of the New Music Awards 2021, and rapper ART from Cologne show what they can do and guarantee you an extraordinary concert experience in the Cologne Philharmonic. Experience their songs in a new, inspiring and original way. Performed are for example "C'est la Vie", "Heute" from/by Rote Mütze Ralphi & "Belgisches Viertel" and "Rubinroter Wein" from/by ART. Tillmann Köllner presents the concert show and you will find out, among other things, where Rote Mütze Ralphi and ART get their musical inspiration from.

04Jeremias WDRFunkhausorchester

© Rote Mütze Ralphi / © ART

Cast & Crew

or how nature came back to life

Beavers are the best builders. They build beautiful musical instruments and sturdy dams. But if the climate changes, even a beaver dam cannot cope with it.

And so it can happen that on a remarkably warm spring day, Noah and his beaver family are suddenly attacked by beastly weather. The water rises quickly, the dam breaks in half and Noah is carried thousands of miles down the stream. Only days later, when the rain stops, he manages to come ashore. And there he stands face to face with a landscape he has never seen before. There are houses everywhere, the bottom is made of stone, he hardly sees a tuft of greenery. There is waste everywhere, plastic blows through the streets, not a bird, not even an ant is to be discovered.

But Noah wouldn't be Noah if he didn't roll up his sleeves. He plants a tree. He builds a lodge. And soon more and more animals are crawling out of their hiding places to help Noah. One appears to have an idea how they could purify the dirty air musicalwise, and another how they could generate energy while dancing. Don't you want to join them?

Noah, the (almost) last Beaver is a theatrical concert about the consequences of the contemporary climate confusion and a musical search for inventive solutions to turn things around. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy assists Noah with his composition the 3rd Symphony in A Mol, opus 56 ("Scottish").

Beaver © Eran Alboher

Illustration © Eran Alboher

Credits Cast & Crew

Teaser © Florian Hackspiel

Twelfh elephantastic children's concert


Bathing suits packed and diving goggles on: elephant and rabbit (Elefant & Hase) jump into the cold water. The new concert with André, Anke and the WDR Funkhausorchestra is again full of musical adventures. Dive into the depths of music and explore together the sounds of the underwater world.

Anke Engelke and André Gatzke have been discovering the world of music together with elephant and rabbit and the WDR Funkhausorchestra since 2011. Each year they focus on a different sound theme, such as the musical animal melodies in the concert Something animalistic (Tierisch was los), classic party hits in Birthdayparty (Geburtstagparty). and songs around the universe in Space. This season they will play around musicthemes under water. Under Water (Unter Wasser) is a theatrical concert for the little ones to marvel, listen and to participate.


Images © WDR / Composition © Annechien Koerselman

Credits Cast & Crew

a non-verbal, participatory music theater production for the whole family (ages 4 and up)


As a Christmas surprise for their parents, the forestchildren Vesta and Diana want to decorate a pine tree, but accidentally they turn King Winter's land upside down. Then, for his part, King Winter has to enlist the help of his fellow seasons Prince Primavera, Summerking Estate and Count Autumn Autunno to achieve another white Christmas in time. However, as benefits a good Christmas story: All's well that ends well!


Oh Tree of Wonder is a magical Christmas story with the forestchildren Vesta and Diana in the Gnome Forest! Four musicians slip into the roles of the four seasons and team up with the audience to sing classic Austrian, Portuguese and American Christmas songs as well as works by Claude Debussy, Engelbert Humperdinck and Astor Piazzolla. This participative concert is all about the non-verbal power of music. Together, performers and audience discover the techniques and functions of the orchestral instruments, hold conversations without words and enter musical competitions.

Oh Wunderbaum

Image © Arrow Films

Credits Cast & Crew

Teaser © Arrow Films



It is winter. Hibernum, the Snow God makes a big storm. Wanja, living on the edge of the forest, decides to hit the sack early. But just as he is meeting dreamland, there is a loud knock on the door. It is a hare, frozen to the bone, which seeks shelter in this icy winter night. Not much later, a fox and finally a bear ask for help as welll. And although the natural enemies fear each other, they must promise Vanya to keep the peace under his roof that night. Will the three wild animals succeed?

Who's that knocking at my door? is a free musical theatrical stage adaptation of the eponymous famous German picture book, written by Tilde Michels. Annechien has excitingly intersected the libretto with the idiosyncratic repertoire of the Tonkuenstler Vieanna's Trombone and Marimba ensemble.


Image composition © Annechien Koerselman

Credits Cast & Crew

Report The Brassgang, Austrian Premiere during The Bregenzer Festspiele. June 28th 2017

Report © Orf TVThek