typographic visuals
The World's Wife
'Grootste ontdekking van de avond was de dramaturgie rondom de projecties - ik ervoer de teksten van Duffy bijna als van Shakespeare - effectief, krachtig, kleurrijk en ook boos. De teksten waren voor mij een zesde personage - een spook bijna - op toneel. Alsof Hamlet te gast was.'
— Neil Wallace / international performing arts professional
Chamber opera with bariton Lucia Lucas and Ragazze Quartet

The World’s Wife is based on an anthology of poems by Carol Ann Duffy and reflects on collective stories, historical events and myths, told from an altered, female perspective. Inspired by Duffy’s poems, composer Tom W. Green wrote a chamber opera for singer, string quartet and looping station.

Throughout the opera, different female characters take the stage, both historical and mythological, ranging from the sexually awakened little-red cap to the motherly Queen Herod. By way of response, Green’s composition contains music from past female composers who were sometimes unduly ignored, such as Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn.

Ragazze Quartet and Dutch opera director Jorinde Keesmaat are for the first time creating a fully staged version of the opera. Keesmaat (known from a.o. Andriessen’s Anais Nin + Odysseus Women) is intrigued by the absence of the female voice which paradoxically speaks through Duffy’s poems.

While stating their individuality, the women in the poetry are at the same time trapped in a male narrative. Seeking to weave their own narrative, five female performers explore their historical and mythological predecessors. They are guided by the warm baritone singing of transgender opera singer Lucia Lucas, who has recognised and has responded to her inner voice unlike anyone else. Together, they embark on a journey which leads to a (re)discovery of a collective and individual, female voice.

'Een ware tour de force. Gedurfd, verstild, pijnlijk (en toch een feest voor het oog), meesterlijk in ruimtelijke zin, het is een prachtige productie geworden.'

— Neil Wallace / international performing arts professional



The World's Wife

Chamber Opera

Ragazze Quartet


Tom W Green


Carol Ann Duffy

Stage director

Jorinde Keesmaat


Lucia Lucas


Rosa Arnold

Jeanita Vriens-van Tongeren


Annemijn Bergkotte


Amber Docters van Leeuwen or Rebecca Wise

Stage design

Sammy Van den Heuvel


Sasja Strengholt

Make-up & hair design

Radna Berendsen


Lalina Goddard


Bureau Merkwaardig


Tim van 't Hof

Rohan McDermott


Koen Keevel


Wendy van Os


Remy de Graaf

Ragazze Quartet


O. Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre.


What You See Festival

Grand Theatre