Holland Festival 2014 edition closes with record ticket sales
On 29 June, the performance of Calliope Tsoupaki's Oidípous will conclude Pierre Audi's ten year tenure as artistic director of the Holland Festival. This year was the 67th edition of the festival. Over the course of 29 days 56 productions with a total of 159 performances and concerts were presented. Ticket sales rocketed– more than 115,000 people visited the festival, a historic record.
The inclusion of War Horse in the festival accounted in great part to the bigger audience numbers in 2014 compared to previous years. War Horse attracted more than 33,000 visitors between 1 and 29 June. War Horse aside, the festival programme still attracted more than 82,000 paying visitors and an average seat occupancy of more than 81%. The visitor numbers constitute an 18% increase compared to 2013, not counting War Horse.
Under the leadership of Pierre Audi, the festival has flourished. Audi has introduced a broad programme incorporating all disciplines, with music and music theatre at its core. Some of the key areas the festival has focused on are commissioning works from Dutch composers, staging non-Western art forms, presenting 20th century avant-garde performances and setting up special collaborations within the city. The festival's mission to present special and unique performances and concerts was continued in 2014.
One of the highlights of this editon was the special programme centred on the music of the composer Luigi Nono, which attracted 3,071 visitors. According to Nono's widow, Nuria Schoenberg Nono, who visited the performances herself, this is a record which is unparalleled. One of the most notable productions in the theatre programme was Die Schutzbefohlenen, written by Elfriede Jelinek. This performance by Hamburg's Thalia Theatre under the direction of Nicolas Stemann was a response to the increasingly harrowing refugee problem in Europe. Twenty asylum seekers from the Amsterdam Vluchtgarage and Vluchthaven who have had their appeal rights exhausted took to the stage to draw attention to their hopeless situation.
The dance programme boasted some famous names. Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, whose company Rosas opened the festival in collaboration with Ictus, as well as NDT, Alain Platel, William Forsythe and the Dutch National Ballet gave performances. The opera programme was exceptional this year, featuring amongst others the premiere of Martijn Padding's new opera Laika, a co-production by the Dutch National Opera and the Holland Festival; and Orlando by La Monnaie from Brussels, directed by Pierre Audi, which was very well received.
First place in the VPRO Audience Favourite Poll was shared this year by the opera Orlando and the monster project Napoleon, Abel Gance's 1927 silent movie with live music by the Gelders Orkest at the Ziggo Dome. Second place was for Winterreise by William Kentridge, Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhäuser. Other audience favourites were NDT's Programme V, the CIVIL warS – Rome by Philip Glass and the concert staged by Woodkid.
Sponsors, Funds and Private Donors
During the Holland Festival, the festival and Rabobank signed a sponsorship agreement for the 2015 festival. The contributions by main sponsor SNS REAAL Fund, Rabobank Amsterdam, corporate sponsors, other funds and the 884 private people supporting the Holland Festival will, together with the subsidies granted by the department of Education, Culture and Science and the City of Amsterdam, guarantee a solid financial basis for the 2015 festival.
The 68th edition of the Holland Festival will open on 31 May 2015. From 1 July 2014 the festival will be under the artistic direction of Ruth Mackenzie.