Davy            van            Gerven

The Shell Trial

"The Shell Trial" is based on the play by Rebekka de Wit and Anoek Nuyens, which premiered in 2020 and made a significant impact on both the Dutch and international stage. The opera presents a range of voices and perspectives on the climate crisis, gradually revealing the complexity of the case. As the narrative unfolds, the boundaries between guilty and innocent, good and bad, and individual and collective responsibility blur, with more and more viewpoints emerging.

To emphasize the theme of responsibility, I chose to close the theater's passepartout with a massive wall, further placing the orchestra on stage. This allowed the floor space, usually reserved for the orchestra and grandstand, to become a playing surface for the singers, children's choir, and extras. The action took place in the middle of the audience, giving them a strong presence during the performance, reminiscent of Greek and Roman theater. Throughout the play, parts of the wall opened and shifted backward, with special effects enhancing the theatricality. An essential element was the archive, highlighting that each perspective in the piece sought its own justification.

Nationale Opera, Amsterdam

Music Ellen Reid
Libretto Roxy Perkins
Musical direction
Manoj Kamps
Stage direction
Gable en Romy Roelofsen
Winston Arnon
Movement director extra’s Nita Liem
Costume Design
Greta Goirissen, Flora Kruppa 
Lighting Design Jean Kalman
Video design
Wies Hermans
Willem Bruls, Saar Vandenberghe, Jasmijn van Wijnen

Selected projects                   Litanie van een Terugkeer                       The Shell Trial                        Jugend ohne Gott                        Woyzeck                        House of Strength                        Limburgse Horizon                        Fok me Hokje                        Good Game                        Automatenbüfett                        An Archive of Love                        Libi                        Mom:me                        Ein Körper für Jetzt und Heute                        Common Chorale                        Zündels Abgang                        Götterspeise