kenza karin koutchoukali
stage director of opera and music theatre

Kenza was ten years old when she sang in the children’s choir in Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca at Dutch National Opera: a mind boggling experience opening her eyes to the world of the stage. During her studies at the school of arts in Utrecht, she went back to DNO again, as she was asked by the education department for an adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd, which she created for and in collaboration with youngsters.

Afterwards Kenza started as freelance director and directed Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro for Café Theater Festival, followed by All Rise! by composer Jan-Peter de Graaff, in which she discovered the enormous value and joy of working with contemporary music and living composers. She followed a talent trajectory of two years at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and Paris. Here, she had the opportunity to assist important opera figures, such as Claus Guth, Lotte de Beer and Romeo Castellucci on both contemporary and classical productions.

After This is (not) a fairy tale (Lemereis) at Kameroperahuis and online series Bonsai Garden (De Graaff) for Opera Zuid she directed the family production Goud! (Evers), co-produced by Opera Zuid and Dutch National Opera. Last November she made her debut on the main stage of Dutch National Opera with How Anansi freed the stories of the World (Muyanga). She worked again with De Graaff on his monodrama Parallax and with Mathilde Wantenaar on oratorio Dear Professor Einstein. Last summer Kenza created a very well received location performance of Bluebeards Castle (Bartók).

Rooted in both the Western and Andalusian world of music, in her work Kenza aims to find the Fantastic dimension of reality: a phrase she wished she had come up with herself, but found in a book of photographer Jean-Claude Gautrand.

photo by Hilde Harshagen for Volkskrant Magazine